What in the world is that across the big blue? Why it's none other than these Brit-bog beat ruffians The Wildebeests of course. It's true they've been 'round the prairie a few times no, playing their ghastly din to anyone foolish enough to want to listen - mostly pensioner and layabouts it must be said, and usually for nothing more rewarding than a half-ounce of sickly-smelling dog-toffee. Formed in 'blooding freezing cold' Edinburgh September 1994 to play punk, rhythm 'n blues, and good honest rock 'n roll noise. A few sessions rewarded them with truckloads of covers to annoy and delight, and a knack for stringing together larders full of tough originals.
Armed with 50 watts of PA power, 115 watts of sheer sonic force in all, John, Russ,and Lenny built up a formidable local following with gigs at the Legendary Tap 'O Lauriston, Cas Rock and the Limbo Lounge in Glasgow. Before long they were playing alongside the likes of Holly Golightly, Pink Kross, and opening for US grungemeisters Mudhoney on the Scottish leg of their tour; surprising (and bemusing) the huge crowds, and getting the thumbs (or was that fingers?) up from the headliners. Down in London a few months later to record at Toe Rag, the three 'beests then hooked up inevitably with those scoundrels from Russ's earlier days, Thee Headcoats. With their past pedigree looming with them; Russ with the Milkshakes, Del Monas, and the Len Bright Combo, John with the Kaisers, Holly Golightly and, and Lenny with the Thanes, Television Personalities and the Green Telescope and their knack for capturing recordings warts and all they have no shortage of record labels inquiring at their door (or throwing requests attached to bricks through their windows). Not to be wholly shunted however, the numerous utterances of this barrage-style music group have often been expertly captured on tape and wrestled in the grooves of records, each one enthusiastically received upon release. The first LP "Sticky Death Molecule" appeared on tiny German label Teenage Kicks back in the mid-ninties, and has long been deleted and much sought after by people with propeller caps clutching wooden spoons. They are a well-respected, if slightly odd, phenomenon in Belgium cafes and weird nightspots following a few turns there. Italy and France as well where a near riot ensued at the end of their first gig in Paris.
The Las Vegas Grind 1999 event heralded the group's first long haul abroad the 'great iron bird flap no wing' across the big pond to the USA, and to coincide the band's US label Sympathy for the Record Industry issued a special three-track EP, "Up Yer Pipe with the Wildebeests" to celebrate the occasion. Sympathy, having issued the majority of the groups discs, also unleashed the groups next outing, an uncanny jug-ular reading of the 13th Floor Elevators tune "She Lives in a Time of Her Own", endorsed personally by Elevators drummer Danny Thomas. The flipside was "Money Loving Girl", three minutes or so of sublime rock 'n roll action which screamed HIT! This was housed in a marvelously offbeat colored sleeve.
Since the the world in which The Wildebeests inhabit has been strangely quiet, with few public sitings (including two gigs with Dan Melchior's Broke Revue in May, 2000); the huge foot-and-mouth bonanza keeping visitations to country halls and hostelries to a minimum. Recording sessions have gone on, hidden away deep within the sprawling forest of lard (sitting picturesquely at the foot of the valley of tripe), yielding dozens of fresh reels and jigs so very soon shall burst forth the next wave of vinyl releases...At least one new long player the fourth it can be foretold, shall soon be arriving all spanky at your local record retailer's. A couple of early results of those secluded fruitful sessions were heard by those lucky few enough to purchase the joyous "Rudolph's Ruin"/"Plum Duff" 45 released on the famed Norton label just in time for Christmas last year. In April 2001, the "gnu-sound" apparition made a particularly memorable appearance on their old stomping ground of Edinburgh, where they were filmed for a new television pop programme to be aired locally - that show being "This Is The Sound of Concrete." The Wildebeests' short set featured favourites from the past including "One And One," "This is My Year," and newer tracks like "1996" (out now on SmartGuy), and "Your Mind." The evening ended with a surprisingly wild bout of onstage carnage with irate Directors, floor managers, and cameramen unable to stop the crowd from hollering for more and were forced into submission and the demands for encores being met!