Time for a different beat
Beat Union hail from my old neck of the woods near Birmingham and seem to making something of a name for themselves with their last single 'She is the Gun' appearing on Scuzz and with over 25000 myspace friends to boast of.
Certainly they do what they do very well indeed and give a very solid performance. The problem with Beat Union is that just lack any kind of originality whatsoever! The music sounds like The Jam crashing headlong into The Clash and whilst wearing your influences firmly on your sleeve is no crime, it gets a bit much when you look just like them too. Singer and guitarist Dave Warsop sports a white Clash style DIY punk shirt, complete with 999 logo and plays a six string Rickenbacker the same as Mr.Weller. Once you get over that fact though there is plenty to like about the music, which in the main is punchy and driven.
Bass player Ade Preston wins the award for most energetic performance of the weekend as he never stops leaping and whirling about the stage. Unsurprisingly the vocals have a real Strummer feel to them and they work well with some good, tight harmonies. Despite the smallish crowd they pull off a passable attempt at crowd interaction and go down well. Overall though, despite all the good things about them they are just too firmly rooted in the retro camp. It's fine to give a nod to your heroes but in order to make the impact that they have shown they are capable they need to find more of their own identity.