(Originally appeared in Probemusic, October 2001)

"There used to be a band in New Orleans called BFAB. Catriona saw them and brought the name back to Blighty as some kind of conditional franchise thing whereby she could use their name if she got a band together and put on a gig within a month. They would then send us photographs to put in our press packs and give us song lyrics and tell us what to say in interviews and stuff but they split up and for a long time we were left like shell-shocked soldiers who couldn't or just simply wouldn't accept that the war in the Pacific was now over."

Tom is explaining why he's in a band going by the name of b-fab.uk. If true - and there's no guarantee - it's a nice story, but one that beggars belief. Why would a band capable of dreaming up a "meta-rock trilogy" on 3" CDs packaged like bubblegum need any ideas? Why would a band who are a fabulous sprawling confusion of Sonic Youth in their faster moments and, erm, Sonic Youth in their uber-pretentious slower moments need any help in the music department? and why would a band who explain their choice of format with a quote like "you can fit 3-inch CDs in your pocket" need any help in interviews?

b-fab.uk are Catriona, Tom and Vicky. They are "trying to do our thing mostly, keep out of trouble, make a profit and not sound like our influences." So why a series of 3" singles? "We knew we wanted to make CDs as opposed to vinyl because we anticipated that people wouldn't be rushing out to buy our stuff. We knew that if we'd put out our first record on vinyl, most of the world's turntables would have fallen into disuse by the time we'd sold the first hundred. So CD was essential and if it was to be CD then 3-inch CD's because 5-inch CD singles seem so wasteful with all that unwritten-on space left over, like a 12" vinyl single where the grooves stop half-way in."

And the packaging? "Catriona associates it more with packets of nails and washers and toy water pistols than with sweets. Whatever it is, it's deliberate. I think I would want bubblegum in the packaging so long as it was sanitary. We think we all grew up with banana splitz and I'm a big fan of bubblegum crisis."

Eh? The final installment of the trilogy, Exotics, is due out at the start of November. Watch out for gigs following it. b_fuk@format15.freeserve.co.uk, www.bfab.co.uk or b-fab.U.K. PO Box 93, Manchester, M13 0BE.

: reviews : interviews : live : features : shop : search: contact