The Bees: Octopus (Virgin/EMI)

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The Bees: Left Foot Stepdown
The Bees: Octopus (Virgin/EMI)

Any number of bands have been influenced by Lennon and McCartney, and a few by George Harrison. But the opener on this quietly terrific album suggests that the Bees have gone the path less travelled, and taken Ringo's jovial country covers as their reference point.

That track, the rollicking and likeable Who Cares What The Question Is? leads into a more interesting country-flavoured track (which seems closer to the Byrds or Flying Burrito Brothers), and elsewhere this outfit from the Isle of Wight go jazzy and baggy like a more mellow Happy Mondays, drop into some Motown-framed 60s soul, adopt a rootsy reggae shuffle for Stand, and in places recall the loose limbed and groove-orientated approach of the Beta Band.

Oh, and there's a sitar too.

All over the place, each track memorable in its own right, and a great deal of fun.

If you missed the albums Sunshine Hit Me and Free the Bees by this band who have a way with a pop hook but also an inclusive approach, then your learning curve and smiles start right here.

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