Song of the day: Honeybus – "Big Ship"

September 13, 2011

Today’s song appears here courtesy of a chain of events leading up to one mistake made on a bass guitar.

I’ll make this as quick as I can:

I’m a member of the Audities music newsgroup, and somebody there declared their love for an English band from the late 60’s called Honeybus. The person mentioned one of Honeybus’s unreleased-in-the-band’s-lifetime songs, “Big Ship”, as an example of how good the band was. The Audities person said something like “their unreleased stuff is way better than most other bands’ officially released material! Check it out!” etc. It’s the kind of thing that gets people like me interested in a hitherto unknown band.

Before I get to the bit about me listening to the song and then the song itself (i.e., the part of the post you might actually be interested in), I want to insert an explanatory paragraph:

I’m a big fan of mistakes on records – not to point and laugh at the musician who made the mistake, but to be pleasantly reminded that before the days of rampant flaw-eliminating technology came along, actual human beings were involved in making records. I can picture the mistake-making musician sitting in the recording studio, thinking to him- or herself, “Oops”, and hoping no-one noticed as the rest of the band went for that perfect take. In other words, a mistake on a record is evidence of real people. Oh, the humanity!

Anyway, as I listened to that previously unreleased song I noticed a pretty glaring mistake made by the bass player. (It happens at 2:25 in the recording.) For a moment I wondered if that was the reason the song was never released by the band, but then I realised that was daft thinking (as in: “Don’t talk wet, Peter – people aren’t going to hold off releasing a record just because of one bass mistake. Pull yourself together man!”). And then I thought “Hey, that’s a good enough song to put on the blog. Plus it has that bass mistake which can remind people of a time when human beings were involved in making music.”

So here’s a rather American-sounding song by an English band I didn’t know about until a rabid Audities fan mentioned them:

Honeybus – “Big Ship” (2002)