A-Z: The Bees – Big Leaves

The Bees – Free The Bees (album)
This is one of the albums I got sent free when I won the guess-the-album-artwork competition thing on BBC 6music 😀 I already had the single of Wash In The Rain as had heard good things about The Bees, but to be honest I wasn’t that fussed about them! The album’s grown on me though.
‘Chicken Payback’ – This is probably my fave song on the album. It sounds like it’s come straight out of the 60s or summat. Actually, most of the songs do to a certain extent.

The Bees – Wash In The Rain (single)
The single I already mentioned buying. And when was it I bought it? Yup, 2004! I wasn’t fussed about it at the time but I rather like this song now.

Belle And Sebastian – Funny Little Frog (single)
The only B&S CD I own. They’re another band where I have quite a few of their songs on MP3 and keep meaning to buy their albums, but they never quite make it to the top of my list. All the songs on this CD are great though, I really should get more B&S stuff. Amazingly this isn’t a single I bought in 2004 – it’s one from this year infact. I bought it in Virgin in Cardiff when I was there for a job interview. I specifically remember that as when I went to pay for it, the guy behind the counter said that if I liked B&S I might well like his band, Angie And The Bear, and he wrote their website URL down on my receipt for me 🙂 They are indeed good, so yeah, check them out!

Belly – King (album)
I haven’t listened to this album in a long time! I really need to get some Tanya Donelly solo stuff.

Big Leaves – Pwy Sy’n Galw? (album)
Without a doubt this is my favourite Welsh-language album. Every single song’s brilliant and so catchy. It always flies by too as is only about 35 mins long. I’m still gutted I never got to see Big Leaves live. I must try and see Sibrydion some time. And does anyone know what Rhodri’s up to these days?! Would be interested.
‘Meillionen’ – It’s so difficult to choose favourite songs on this album as I love them all. This song would rank pretty highly though! It’s also one of the few that I can mostly sing along with without needing the lyrics booklet!
‘Synfyfyrio’ – ah, I love the style of this song. It’s gorgeous.
‘Pwy Sy’n Galw?’ – hee, this song’s so much fun to try and sing along with! It’s so damn fast I can’t read the Welsh fast enough – I can manage the chorus but that’s about it! Fab song though.
‘Seithenyn’ – aw it’s the end of the album already! This song’s another of my favourites though 🙂

Big Leaves – Alien & Familiar (album)
Their 2nd and final album – this one being all in English. How big a gap was there between Pwy Sy’n Galw? and Alien & Familiar? It felt like I was waiting for this album to be released for ages! Hmm…Pwy Sy’n Galw? was released in 2000 and this one was…er, it doesn’t say! *looks on Amazon* 2003! 3 years gap, I suppose that is quite a while, though it seemed even longer! This album’s just as brilliant as Pwy Sy’n Galw? – again all the songs are really catchy and varied – plus I have the added bonus of being able to understand the lyrics on this one.
‘Sleepwalking’ – ah, this is quite possibly my favourite Big Leaves song. The songs on this album generally feel a lot bigger and more anthemic than the ones on Pwy Sy’n Galw? – not that that makes them better necessarily, just different! Although some of my favourite songs are on this album, my favourite album overall would still probably be Pwy Sy’n Galw?.
‘Hang On To Your Halo’ – Ok, this would be a tough contender for fave Big Leaves song too! “Affinity with streakers, they should all be leaders. To stand there and be counted, even if they’re naked”.
‘Alien & Familiar’ – Aw, I’ve reached the end of another Big Leaves album. This is a brilliant last track though, it’s really beautiful and just makes me smile.

Big Leaves – Trwmgwsg EP
Big Leaves are the first band in my A-Z who I have a complete CD discography for. At least I think I do – I can’t actually find a decent discography online, so I could be missing an early CD or 2 without realising. Did they release anything on CD as Beganifs? I’ve only got Beganifs songs on compilation CDs. Anyway, I’m assuming this is their first EP as Big Leaves – it was released in 1998. The only single of theirs I might be missing on CD is Sly Alibi – I have it on vinyl but have never seen it on CD, so am not sure if it’s missing from my collection or not! Anyway, the Trwmgwsg EP…
‘Dal Fy Llaw’ – ah this song’s so summery and bouncy! I miss Big Leaves.
‘Bler’ – This is an early version of the song that ended up on Pwy Sy’n Galw? 2 years later. It’s rougher round the edges, naturally, but isn’t actually very different at all.
(Edit: Actually, have found a good biography on BBC Wales which is useful as a discography!)

Big Leaves – Belinda EP
I think this was quite possibly the first Big Leaves CD I bought. Yeah, it must have been! It was released in 1999, so before Pwy Sy’n Galw? – I remember buying it in HMV on Oxford Street and think it must have been the time I went there soon after Equally Cursed And Blessed had been released, so yeah that would have been 1999. Cool! I totally loved it – infact, as already mentioned, Seithenyn’s still one of my fave Big Leaves songs.
‘Hodges Blues’ – This song’s beautiful and catchy in the same way that Alien & Familiar is. Big Leaves wrote a hell of a lot of brilliant songs! Ah, all the voices singing along at the end!!! Yeah, love this song. “Belinda! Belinda! Ooh ooh ooh!”
‘Track 6’ – Yes, there’s a bonus track on this CD. I have no idea what it’s called though sadly. Actually I haven’t listened to it for ages – it’s not on my playlist due to not having a title for it! It’s only a minute and a half long, has no lyrics and has a country feel to it. Tis pretty cool.

Big Leaves – Racing Birds (single)
This song can’t help but make you smile surely – it’s so damn cheery! More bands need to release jolly, cheery, catchy, summery tunes like this 🙂
‘Getaway Day’ – ah, this song’s so good too! I love the fact that my favourite bands release such good b-sides.

Big Leaves – Fine (single promo)
This CD’s actually no different at all to the actual release – it’s just got a promo sticker on it! But hey, that’s a good enough difference for me. Like Racing Birds, this is another really cheery summery song. It was released not long after Pwy Sy’n Galw? and seemed to appear on quite a few magazine compilation CDs. Like Racing Birds it didn’t make it onto an album though – presumably because of the 3 year gap before Alien & Familiar. That’s cool though – it’s nice having singles just for the sake of being singles. Bands don’t often do that these days. I remember Mark Morriss mentioning that before they played Marblehead Johnson the last time I saw The Bluetones live. Anyway, back to Big Leaves – both the b-sides on this single are brilliant too. Well, that goes without saying to be honest – there aren’t any Big Leaves songs I dislike or see as weak in any way. It’s just as well I really like these ones though as I’m going to hear them again in a mo!

Big Leaves – Fine (single)
Same as above! Just without the promo sticker on the case!! 😉

Big Leaves – Electro-Magnetic Pollution / Paladino’s Pills (Hand Of God) (single)
Yup it’s a Double A-side! Released as part of the Boobytrap singles club in 2001. I was very pleased both of these songs finally made it onto Alien & Familiar 2 years later, as they’re both just brilliant!!

Big Leaves – Animal Instinct EP
I’d forgotten Animal Instinct wasn’t on Alien & Familiar! In some ways that seems wrong, as tis a great song, but I suppose if it had been put on the album, there’d have been less space for new songs, so I’m pleased it was left off in that case! Hang On To Your Halo’s on the album though, and also on this EP.

Big Leaves – Siglo EP
The last Welsh-language songs they released. All great of course!

Big Leaves – Speakeasy (single promo)
Ah a promo of Big Leaves’ last single *sniff sniff*

Big Leaves – Speakeasy (single)
‘Gliding Through Space’ – this song’s gorgeous!
‘Sly Alibi (Reprise)’ – Sly Alibi’s a brilliant song – it’s quite short and really simple, but brilliant. I love both the original version and this ‘reprise’. It’s quite sad I’ve reached the end of my Big Leaves CDs. Have really enjoyed listening to them all in one go 🙂

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