Forgotten Band Planet

The Becketts


NME from 25 Nov 1989

"The Becketts: 'The Most Beautiful Girl In Town' (Fabulous) fresh faced debut from new Somerset band - out now."

The same issue also "reviews" the single (reviewer is a Len Brown). It's included in a block of 3 others, they being Asphalt Ribbons, Venus Fly Trap and Watch You Drown. It says of the Becketts:

"It's unclear whether the Becketts are named after Sam, Archbish Tom or Sir Tel of the CBI. Whatever, this is pleasant in an indie cheapo-guitary lovey-dovey style until some bastard starts shouting in the middle and spoils it."

Keg also sent me this -

Here's the text of the "On" column feature on The Becketts. It's taken from the NME, 6 October 1990.


"I think the West Country angle throws a lot of people. They have a lot of problems with a band possibly being at the cutting edge of noise music coming from an area like the West Country."

Mike, axe-wielding vocalist with THE BECKETTS, has a point. With the honourable exception of Cranes and Bad Girl labelmates The Family Cat, the large expanse of strange turf between the M4 and Land's End is hardly renowned for vigorous excursions into mayhem-fuelled guitar pop. And even The Becketts themselves have feigned rural residence, as Mike plus drummer Nick, bassist Howard and guitarists Simon and Debbie confess to upbringings in places as far afield as Yorkshire and Singapore: "So we're not quite the yokels that we're sometimes presumed to be!"

But that isn't particularly important right now. Of infinitely more significance is the fact that The Becketts are collectively responsible for a thoroughly boisterous debut LP which goes under the provocative title of 'Lust' and comes wrapped within a lascivious sleeve depicting an unnamed part of Madonna's brazen physique beneath a large, lurid scarlet cross.
Phew, controversial or what? Erm... or what, actually.

"I like to think we've got an eye for a striking image," sighs Mike. "But it's not premeditated or calculated. I think it's entirely suitable. It says a lot about pop and the way it's sold. It's indicative of our ironic sense of humour - I don't really see it as controversial."

'Lust', which cannily includes last year's single 'Most Beautiful Girl In Town', is one of those joyful articles - a mini album with a huge sound ("It cost, ooooh, £500 to make!"). It also takes a semi-reverential look back at the best point of '80s grinding guitar pop and weaves it into a raucously attractive '90s tapestry. A forthcoming jaunt to Paris with Teenage FC, Edsel Auctioneer and See See Rider would seem to suggest that The Becketts are more than ready to stake their place as fashionable Noise Kids On The Block.

"Oh, it sounds terrible when you put it like that," cringes Mike. "It's probably because there's a number of bands drawing on a shared heritage, back to the Velvets and Lamont Young. There's a lot of similarities but I think we're bringing a few different elements into the noise thing - it's a thoughtful noise!"

Think on, kids.

Simon Williams

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