BEEBE GALLINI – You Ain’t Getting Nothin’ / What Christmas Means To Me

Despite the world being knocked sideways by a global pandemic, the period stretching between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021 didn’t work out so badly for vocalist Miss Georgia Peach. The debut EP from her band Beebe Gallini gained a timely reissue from the Rum Bar Records label, which helped it to reach people who’d missed it in 2018. Likewise, a reissue of her 2007 solo single ‘You Blow My Mind’ was given a new lease of life via its inclusion on a label sampler and a subsequent digital reissue campaign. More importantly, Beebe Gallini’s full length album ‘Pandemos’ (released in May ‘21) made good on the EP’s earlier promise with tunes like ‘Bad Man’ and ‘Danny’ scoring highly on the retro riffs front, and the Bee Gees’ classic ‘To Love Somebody’ being redressed in a world of fuzz. The general online buzz surrounding the album (and the record label’s enthusiasm for it) made it clear that there would be more to come from Peach and her bandmates – and sooner rather than later.

At the end of 2021, Bebee Gallini made a timely return with yet another digital single, this time captalising on the festive season. In the band’s own words, the two track release contains songs that are both “naughty and nice”, contrasting each other brilliantly, but also giving listeners something familiar along the way.

A cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘You Ain’t Getting Nothin’’ suits the band really well. Despite the original cut being barely a year old by the time Bebee entered the studio, they’ve managed to approach the track as if it were already a seasoned classic. By transposing the arrangement from an ersatz Setzer swing and taking it into the realms of garage rock, Bebee Gallini’s recording actually sounds more like the old Goo Goo Dolls than the Dolls’ own cut. The driving riff grabs a hold in an instant; Peach’s sneering vocal adds more of a bite and the band tear through the three minute belter with ease. There’s plenty within the semi lo-fi recording that brings out the band’s garage roots too, without impacting on any accessibility and the presence of a really sharp lead guitar further elevates a sense of energy. By the time Miss Georgia reaches a “ho ho ho, no no no!” refrain, it’s almost possible to believe this had always been one of their own numbers. This is definitely a track to add to your future xmas playlists.

On the b-side, the band hammer through the classic ‘What Christmas Means To Me’ with a genuine gusto. A tune familiar to all Motown/soul fans, the Stevie Wonder recording from 1967 will always be the definitive, but this version is great fun. In taking the soul core and injecting it with a little slice of garage rock, Beebe Gallini give the melody a kick, and atop the chunky guitars, Peach stretches her retro voice with ease. A counter vocal courtesy of Cindy Lawson adds some extra bounce, and despite a little extra grit, the core melody stays firm. By the time the second chorus and bouncy middle eight rolls around, Beebe Gallini begin to sound even more like label-mates Shanda & The Howlers, lending an already enjoyable performance some extra sass. Finally, once Peach and Lawson drop into a call and response for an all too early fade, there’s a feeling they had as good a time recording as people will have listening. It’s a brave band that’ll attempt to tackle this tune, but these guys pull it off more than admirably.

This is a solid addition to the Miss Georgia Peach/Beebe Gallini catalogue(s). If you’re the kind of person who thinks Christmas tunes are just cheesy and commercial, though, there’s unlikely to be anything here that’ll change your mind. That’s your loss, of course. For those who like a festive, feel good tune or two, this download is definitely worth seeking out.

December 2021