IF next month’s gig at Derby Assembly Rooms is to be the final time we see 90s favourites The Beekeepers in action, then it will be a fitting finale.
Their punk anthems gained sufficient momentum for the Derby band to be signed to the prestigious Beggars Banquet label but, despite several well-received singles and an album beloved by the fans, it never quite happened for them.
The Beekeepers petered out in 1998, leaving frontman Jamie East with a feeling of unfinished business. The result, after a decade of silence, was a one-off show at the Bell in Derby in 2011.
It convinced Jamie that The Beekeepers should do it again and when the chance came to play The Assembly Rooms, the band took it despite one member being unable to make the date. Gary Hatcher will be replaced by Perry ap Gwynedd from electronic rock band Pendulum.
Jamie told the Mail: “The Bell gig was such a success that we ended up turning 250 people away. It was nice to see we could have done a bigger gig.
“In the last two years we have been as profilic as The Beekepers ever get, meeting up about six times and we have done a few new tracks. When they offered us the chance to play at the Assembly Rooms it pulled a few heartstrings. They made it very difficult to say no.
“Gary can’t do it – no exciting fall outs, we are too old for that now, he’s just not available. Perry is my mate and agreed to be a Beekeeper for the evening, which is incredible. To have someone who has headlinined Wembley Arena and played Glastonbury with us is amazing.
“The plan is to play the album in chronological order, which we have never done before, plus a few B sides and favourites.”
So is this really the last hurrah for one of Derby’s finest ever bands?
“I’m 40 now,” Jamie says. “I’m not sure there’s much of a market for 40-year-old punk rockers with glasses and beards. We are at an age where as much as you enjoy it you have other things in your life. |It could be the last thing we ever do. We don’t have any plans after this. It’s difficult to know where we go after this gig in our home town.”
The Beekeepers are at Derby Assembly Rooms on Friday, November 15. Go to www.derbylive.co.uk.