Dance Dance Baby
received 07.05

From Malta with Love

We never dreamed we would get a submission from Malta. On this tiny island in the city of St Julians, live local idols and musical genii, the Beangrowers.

A beautiful and powerful trio, the Beangrowers are Alison Galea (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Mark Sansone (bass/synths) and Ian Schranz (drums/synths). All three were born in St Julians in 1977 and have been friends since childhood. They formed while in their teens (1993) and immediately started writing and recording their own material. They were playing gigs almost before they even knew how to tune a guitar – and well before they had a name.

After only a year together, they played a small 14-date club tour in Germany, receiving fantastic reactions from their audiences. It was at one of these small clubs where they caught the attention of someone from Rough Trade who asked them to record another demo. In 1998, Rough Trade signed the band to their label and Beangrowers became the first Maltese band to land an international record deal. This led to a wave of top 20 hits in their own country and in New Zealand, plus awards for their videos and weighty support slots for artists such as Tindersticks, Elbow and Fun Loving Criminals.

Virtually unknown in America, the group played a show at the prestigious 2005 SXSW (South by Southwest Music Festival) in Austin, Texas. “The response from the crowd was overwhelming. After the show we were ’invaded’ by the crowd, and after 15 mins we had already sold our last CD!“, Alison wrote in her tour diary. “Now we can safely say our trip here was successful and a door has been opened to new opportunities“.

The Beangrowers draw from an ample sound palette and touch upon an eclectic array of styles including The Violent Femmes, Joy Division, Siouxie, Toyah Wilcox, The Pixies, and Garbage, though there’s nothing imitation to be found. The Beangrowers take their interpretations of modern dance-punk to a new height with their latest effort, Dance Dance Baby. The 12 songs reflect these varied influences and range from the obviously poppy title track to the dark and brooding ‘Analyze’. Alison Galea has a fascinating voice. She can be sexy and sultry – wistful – demanding – sweet - or a full on rock diva!

We have a feeling world domination awaits the Beangrowers; Dance Dance Baby is some of the best we've heard this year. It’s a brilliant collection of alternative pop – so much so, that all 12 songs were put in rotation for airplay on Church of Girl Radio.


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