Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Voice Of The Beehive

I must say I always thought this was a great name for a band, it always reminds me of my childhood when every other boys mum seemed to have a Beehive, wear a mini skirt, smoke players No.6 and be married to man who drove a Ford Cortina, not that different from the images presented in many a grainy black and white UK film from the early sixties.
So who were Voice Of The Beehive? The focal interest and vocal talent in the group was the Belland sisters, Melissa and Tracey, Californian natives, they were born into the industry as their father was a member of the fifties vocal group the Four Preps, their showbiz childhood included staring in TV commercials, this was of course before reality television. the older of the two sisters, Tracey relocated to London soon to be followed by her younger sister and so by the second half of the seventies they had become hangers-on of the UK indie scene, really just London's Camden Town. Whether they decided that English guitarists were the best before or after they came to England is anyone's guess but the result of this fixation was them grabbing one of their own in the shape of Mick Jones and forming Voice of the Beehive, named after a Bette Davis film. True to their showbiz roots they managed to hook up with an all star rhythm section borrowed from the then inactive Madness. Their early releases were to gain favorable comparisons with Blondie, both for the musical content and their sixties inspired way of dressing. Before they were to call it a day in 1995 they gave us three albums the Beatles pun 'Let It Bee' (1988), 'Honey Lingers' (1990) and 'Sex and Misery' (1995). Personally I prefer their debut album which came as very welcome brash and colourful radio friendly platter, and as such their unashamedly commercial efforts earned them a number of UK hit singles including 'Don't Call Me Baby' mixing the shiny pop attitude of the sixties with a more liberated nineties feel. The sisters continued to gather friends in the UK indie scene being romantically linked with Steve Mack and Zodiac Mindwarp who co-wrote 'There's A Barbarian In The Back Of My Car', rumour has in that he was also the inspiration for the songs title, true or not it rests a wonderful song and full of humour.
So where are they now? The sisters have long since returned to the Californian sun after the grime of London, with Mellisa earning a living by making and selling fairy statues, this does sound rather Stevie Nicks to me. They got back together for a one off in December 2003, though I must say I prefer to remember them with their three minute classic pop gems so light that they float in and out of your head like bee in the wind and so sweet that its almost like eating honey.

Great post. I love this band too, and was very disappointed back in the day when they failed to "make it".
Wow. I'm going to dig my VOTB 12" singles out right now!

Just out of interest have you ever thought of submitting something to the contrast podcast?

ATB, Tim
Glad to be of service, and I'm only too happy to get feedback, especially when it comes from fellow bloggers that I respect.
Tim, as far as podcasting goes I probably will give it a try but when I don't know as time is often very tight
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