The Bees

Sapori Italian Restaurant: 108 High Street, Lee-on-the-Solent, PO13 9DA

FEATURED: Sapori Italian Restaurant

First of all, two things need to be said: Hampshire (we're including the Isle of Wight for the purposes of this review) rocks right now.

And, it's hard to do some music justice in words.

The first point first. In the past couple of weeks I have seen Winchester's Frank Turner, and Portsmouth's Strange Death Of Liberal England and B Of The Bang. They have all been amazing. Throw in Hold Fast (Portsmouth), and The Dawn Chorus, and there's something happening here.

Last night's support act The Family, a Southampton group, just add to the feeling that south Hampshire in particular is producing groups who demand attention. Their heavily country-influenced rock was an eye-opener to people who thought either that 'swamp rock' has little to offer, or that English bands at least should steer clear.

After their set, which saw a sold-out Wedgewood Rooms completely won over, The Bees took to the stage.

The Isle of Wight quintet recently released its fourth album. Though the record's good, in this reviewer's opinion it's not quite up to the standard of the second or third.

But live, they are a totally different proposition. They ran through a selection of tracks from across their career, but most impressively for a band which uses keyboards, trumpets and bass saxophone as well as the expected guitars, bass and drums, the members swap instruments almost song-by-song.

Within minutes, the packed-out venue was eating out of their hands, and at the very least, convinced this reviewer to take another listen to their new album.

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