The Bees reissued their debut album Sunshine Hit Me (and subsequently Sunshine Dub Me, a reworking of the original) on [PIAS] Recordings Catalogue in September of last year, head out on the road later this month for a short U.K. tour. Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher, founding members of the band, recorded and produced Sunshine Hit Me in a home garden studio on the Isle of Wight in 2002 for the Wall of Sound sublabel We Love You. In 2003, the song received a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize. With rumours of new material swirling, we caught up with The Bees to learn a little more.
Hi, welcome back!
Hey, thanks very much!
How are you?
Really good; this has come together nicely.
You re-released your debut album last year.
Did you anticipate the response you got?
Getting the re-release together took a David and Goliath kind of effort. Quite a few years of work, with many hurdles and knots to untie. We always knew that it was worth a shot. Nothing but a BIG lovely yes to the response. It was always hard to get on vinyl in the first place, so making a blue-coloured vinyl 20 years later is a bonus surprise. Thanks for waiting, lovely fans!
We hear whispers that further albums may be re-released. Is this true?
Absolutely. The plan is for all of them to be made available again, compiled with bonus songs, demos, and B-sides. Doing it properly!
And what about new material... any possibility?
There could be one day; we need to find the time. But it would be rude not to do a fifth album...
You are finally back on the road after a decade... What can we expect from the tour?
Classic Bees bangers! Ha, well, we haven’t played together for over 10 years. We’ve got 3 days of rehearsals on the Isle of Wight to get to know each other again and to get to know how our songs hold up.
How has the Bees experience altered since your last tour?
It will look a little different, but very familiar. I’d say vintage, but I think it’s more fermented, as a definition. You can tell us later.
It's just a mini tour for now—is that to test the waters before something bigger?
That would be sweet. If people want more from us, then why not? We didn’t really know the tour would have had the impact it has already had. It’s been a joy to get together, so if we can do bigger things, then we would love to.
Since the last The Bees album, you've all worked on different projects. What did they teach you that the Bees didn't?
Good question, so looking at that under a microscope, it has to be that your first time is always the best.
Looking back, would you say you fulfilled all your initial ambitions for the Bees?
Nope, we never got to the States, and we never got to smash out a Jools Holland appearance.
What one thing would you like to achieve in 2024?
To bring good times back.
Northern Tour Dates:
28.02.24 - Gorilla - MANCHESTER
02.03.24 - Brudenell Social Club - LEEDS