Beach Baby are a refreshing take on surf rock. They have several singles under their belt and a raft of new tracks to add to their set list.
On record, the band have an exuberant and spangly sound. On stage, this morphs into something heavier. With echoing bass, heavy electric guitar and artistic use of synth; comes an impressively refined manifestation of their original beach sound. What was once chilled and endearing in the recording studio, becomes something raw and calculated on stage. A true auditory feast.
The past two weeks sported Beach Baby’s debut headline tour. Travelling all over the UK, the band have touched base in Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Birmingham, Oxford and more. The band continue their tour over the next week and a half, completing their lengthy endeavour in Guildford, on May 2nd.
Beach Baby played their Scotland date in Glasgow, at Stereo café/bar on April 19th. In interview, the band told of headliner perks, hip-hop drummers, eating crisps and what it means to be a “competent” band in 2016.
Beach Baby describe themselves as having a “60s sensibility”. With many influences, comes a varied raft of creative output. “We’ve got a bit of 70s new wave in there. Maybe a bit of surf hints too…although maybe not as much as the name Beach Baby would lead you to imagine.” The band are vastly described as Surf, but there is something more, “our sound is less reverb-y and a lot tighter live. We’ve got a bit more groove than surf rock.”
The band found their flare for music in various backgrounds. Their commonalities were inspired by a love of the same artists – both old and new. “You just sort of gravitate toward each other, naturally. If you have a guitar and start playing together, then writing songs just kind of follows after.” Half of the band met at University in Bristol. After loosing one drummer, gaining another, and gaining a bassist: the four pals became Beach Baby. “It was a perfect coincidence. We came together purely because we wanted to write songs and be in a band. Who doesn’t, really?”
There are obvious perks of headlining your own tour. Everyone in the crowd is there to see your performance and everyone is there to dance to your songs - which means everyone is spending their money on your band. However, Beach Baby like to focus on some of the unsung perks of being the big attraction: “We’ve got a lot of crisps. They’re all ours. We also have a lot of apples too. As a band, we have enough for more than one apple each.” The boys think it selfish to keep such gold dust to themselves, “we’ve done lots of supports where the headliners just don’t share anything. The other bands supporting us are here to play too and sometimes they just don’t get fed. We’re good to them.”
Having just played two gigs prior to Glasgow, Beach Baby still sport an initial enthusiasm for what lies ahead, “the two dates we have played so far have been great. Our support for this part of the tour - Willie J Healey - is a great guy and his band are very tight. Great guitarists. Great drummer. Great bassist. Good session group – tight as. They’re very competent. At a high level. Competent always sounds like a back handed insult, but add the word flare in there and it sounds good. We are competent.”
Outside of touring, the band spend their days in London. They explain how it was tricky starting up there, “we found the right people to write and play with us. London is weird for gigging, because there are two different sides to it. On one side, you’ll have loads of important industry people attending specific gigs. On the other side, you get gigs which are just a bit crap.”
Beach Baby’s approach to gigging has altered over the years, “We gathered audiences by the ‘playing the right venues’ approach. In our previous bands, we just took every gig that came to us, but that just wasn’t effective. You end up playing some really shit gigs.”
The band have a fruitful summer ahead of them. Familiar festivals like Reading & Leeds (Festival Republic Stage) and TRUCKFestival have snapped them up early. Smaller, more unique festivals - including Festival No.6, in Wales and Fieldview Festival, in Wiltshire - have also merged the groovy guys into their lineups.
2016 boasts plenty of opportunity for you to catch Beach Baby in all of their 60s/70s/80s glory.
Make an effort to see this refined unit live. Grab a bear, get your pals, love each other and dance your socks off to the fleeting and enigmatic groove that is Beach Baby.
“We use the word SNOG. It’s a good throwback phrase. We like a good SNOG”