The Bullingdon, Oxford
This lot have been mentioned on the blog before: their tagline is “all-metal tribute to the Bee Gees and beyond”, which puts it in a nutshell.
They take to the stage after midnight, by which time much of the audience is well tanked up. Nominally a 6-piece, in reality they are a 5-piece plus a little guy called Lance – towel boy and kind of their Bez, except that his percussion is limited to the confetti cannon and glitter gun. The 5 or so Bee Gees songs are probably the best part because 3 of them can hit the high notes properly, but that would be a bit limiting, hence the “…and beyond”. And so we get the other songs, and this is where it gets a bit weird. You know how you get sudden recall of something regrettable you did, but had forgotten until then? Since the gig, from time to time I’ve remembered another song they covered, and it felt like that. There were a couple from Grease: the title track and “You’re the one that I want”. Also popping back into my memory: “Funky Town”, “Africa”, “Do ya think I’m sexy”, “Maneater”, “It’s raining men” and “Sweet Caroline”. Towards the end, I think there was also Rick Astley’s “Never gonna give you up” but that may have been a bad dream. By that point they’d invited the ladies in the audience onto the stage, which was greeted with either mild horror (the sober ones) or enthusiasm (the ones struggling to stay upright); but they managed to get them up there all the same. Eventually we all get turfed out at 1.30 and I was relieved not to have been trampled on and/or vomited over.
All this probably sounds like it wasn’t much fun, but actually they are a hoot – a proper Ronseal band of balls-out entertainers, all very silly and camp as the proverbial row of pink chiffon tents, in no danger of taking themselves seriously. The harmonies are effective given the volume levels, and the arrangements mostly work (apart from Africa, which just sounded odd). If you’ve seen their videos on YouTube, well it was like that. Just don’t be in any hurry to get home.
Plenty looked capable of remembering the Bee Gees in their heyday. Lots of pissed fuckwits, probably an occupational hazard for a band like this.
It made me think..
Great songs can survive even extreme arrangements. But I wish I’d remembered to take my earplugs.