UK’s Beat Union had the unexpected happen to them earlier this week while touring in Canada. Their tour van and trailer, full of their equipment, were stolen from outside a hotel the band was staying at. It looked as if the band was going to have to call it quits until they could get back on their feet. Luckily for them (unlike Iggy Pop‘s incident at the beginning of August) the Edmonton police were able to recover the vehicle and badly damaged trailer.
The van sustained minimal damage but due to a high speed chase the trailer was not in the best of shape. With the back wheels missing from the high pursuit and damage to the frame it needed serious attention before it would be used again.
It took all but moments for the van to be stolen. One of the band members slept in the van as security while the others were in the hotel. Lead singer David Warsop decided to leave the van for 20 minutes to take a shower. While the van was unoccupied someone decided to steal it and the attached trailer.
At first the band did not think they would recover any of the $28,000 worth of equipment and personal belongings. Upon recovery only minimal items were discovered taken such as a scooter, a white Gibson firebird guitar, a couple of cameras, clothing, and passports. Crack pipes and condom wrappers were found in the van and trailer as a replacement for the stolen items. The band was more upset based upon the fact that some shows had to be canceled as they waited for repairs to be completed on the trailer.
Thanks to the Edmonton police crew and most notably their police dog Knight, who took down one of the suspects at the end of the chase, the band will play on. Already involved in their nice sized North American tour and just having wrapped up their Warped Tour stint, this was the last thing the band needed.
UK pop punkers Beat Union previously released Disconnected at the beginning of the summer, unknown to me. The band first grabbed my attention when I caught their live set at the Vans Warped Tour 2008 and much to my surprise, they are a first-class act. Their take on punk rock mixed with elements of new wave really was fun to listen to, not to mention their stage presence was outstanding. Disconnected is the band’s debut CD and was released under Science Records.
CD opener “Disconnected” started with a very catchy style that easily could be the next hit song to hit the airwaves. The song reminded me of what the Proclaimers or XTC might sound like if they were punkers. “Pressure Zone” followed with typical lyrics, a great bass line, and added horns making for a great listen.The very Elvis Costello like “My Heart Starts Beating” was likable and seemed to focus on the pop and strayed from the punk. “Dancing In Our Sleep” seemed to follow the same trend but suddenly erupted with a nice little “whoa” sing-a-long ending.
“Stay On The Line” has lyrics along with great guitar sounds that potentially may get stuck in your head as it stands out as the most likable track on the CD for me. It’s just one of those songs you start thinking about later after listening to it and suddenly the chorus is repeating in your mind. “She Is The Bullet” followed and with a monotonous beginning to the song thankfully erupted with energy.
“Can’t Stop The Radio” was my personal favorite track on the album. It was very suggestive of UK punk and new wave artists from the past and just sounded excellent all the way though. “Don’t Have Love” was another track I got a kick out of. There is even a secret dub-style remix of “Can’t Stop The Radio” that in my opinion blew away all of the other tracks. I almost wish the entire CD was dub inspired, regardless though, it was a good listen from beginning to end.
For a debut release, it sounds like these guys have been recording albums for years. Perhaps the solid sounds were tweaked out by producer/front man of Goldfinger, John Feldmann. Regardless, Beat Union has won me over as a fan seeing them live and also thanks to Disconnected.
I am really happy the band decided to travel overseas and introduce themselves to the US by playing here over the summer or I might have overlooked them. I am even more excited to hear they are going to be touring with Flogging Molly later this year which means a longer live set.This band has plenty of potential and seems to have ignored those who think they are just a fashioned mainstream band that will soon disappear. Even if they do replicate the English Beat or the Clash in a sense, the band has a great upbeat sound and I am really looking seeing more of them very soon.