Tag Archives: William Keel-Stocker

You Didn’t Know – The Three Belles and Bevin Boys “In Full Swing” CD track review

You Didn’t Know, the sixth track on the Three Belles new album “In Full Swing” was written by the Bevin Boys’ Will Keel-Stocker.

The Three Belles present their new debut album "In Full Swing".
The Three Belles present their new debut album “In Full Swing”.

It begins as a torch song with the lines:

“I didn’t know that you were looking for me last night / I wasn’t home when you called round. / You didn’t know, I saw I saw you leave with her last night / My baby in the arms of another / So it’s true you’ve found a love in somebody new / Just when I was feeling that our own love was true…”

The tremolo in the vibraphone backs up the melancholy message, maintaining a wistfulness throughout.

But as is so true to the Belles, these girls shake off their blues and get on with life, turning the situation round once again, never wallowing, always doing.

In the merry fast world the Belles live in, by the end of the song the situation is fully reversed. Along the way, there’s an irresistibly catchy melody, backed with the Belles’ trademark harmonies and each of the girls get to show off their solo singing voices.

Sally / Gail’s voice has a wonderful crystal clarity to it. Anneka / Betty’s has a richness, while Isabelle / Dorothy’s has smooth deeper tones that remind me sometimes of Judy Garland’s, of warmth and valve radios.

In all a chilled out number that varies the pace beautifully between Say Si Si and the next track on the album, In Full Swing…

Order your copy of The Three Belles debut Album, In Full Swing.

“Belles Are Swingin’” by The Three Belles “In Full Swing” Album Track Review

The second track on The Three Belles’ In Full Swing debut album is their bubbly signature song Belles Are Swingin’.

The Three Belles present their new debut album "In Full Swing".
The Three Belles present their new debut album “In Full Swing”.

For those who’ve bought the single, this wholly new version of Belles Are Swingin’ will come as a real eye-opener.  Gone is the stripped-down Bevin Boys trio of the single, to be replaced with the full big band sound of the WKS Studio Orchestra.

From the trumpet riff intro with the bouncing bass line and a foghorn bass horn marking the end of each lyrical line and the start of the next, this version of Belles Are Swingin’ is an extraordinarily catchy gem of a signature song.

After the initial warm nostalgic brass chords that hark back to golden times of sunshine along with a triumphant trumpet’s declaration of the melody, the horns pull back to make plenty of space for the vocals.  In that space, the guitar bounces the song along with a strong bass line punching underneath it all. As the melody goes on, the excitement grows and the horn lines come back in again blending their ’30s dance orchestra feel.

Swinging along with a bass line that underpins the melody perfectly, the song suddenly erupts into a higher level when the chorus kicks in with a luscious harmony and the girls split into a wider harmonic spread telling us they want to “see the whole place jumping” and that we should “get with the rhythm, you gotta learn how”. With this tune, that’s easy to do.

Then, with wonderful attention to dynamics, the song drops down so the girls are singing over a stripped-down rhythm section before the song comes back strong with the finale as the whole orchestra joins in.

It’s a vibrant mix drawing on thirties and forties harmonies, but with a modern drive that pushes the melody irresistibly along.

Thanks to Will Keel-Stocker’s close attention to the arrangement there ere are so many different textures in this song.

It leaves you knowing you’ve heard real class.   And damned catchy class at that, too!

Order your copy of The Three Belles debut Album, In Full Swing.

The Three Belles New CD “In Full Swing” Track Review: “In The Mood”

I’ve been handed an advance copy of The Three Belles’ debut album In Full Swing.

It’s so fresh the cover hasn’t yet been printed, so the piccie below only shows the disc, adorned with the unmistakably vibrant artwork of fourth Belle, Chloe Seddon.

The Three Belles present their new debut album "In Full Swing".
The Three Belles present their new debut album “In Full Swing”.

In Full Swing‘s first track is the Glenn Miller classic In The Mood. It’s a great choice for an opener. Familiar to big band and Belles fans alike, it’s also the name of the super-popular dance night they pack out when The Belles stage their fab, fun recreation of a forties dance.

While the track sounds familiar at first, kicking off with the classic Glen Miller riff,  it also has its surprises, breaking out from the smooth Miller arrangement with unexpected orchestral stabs and with the girls’ close harmonies driving the track along with boundless energy. It’s really cool to hear The Three Belles heading in a whole new direction in this track, fronting a big band as they vivaciously perform this absolute gem of a tune.

What I can say about In The Mood is that with this track the album starts as it means to go on: it’ll come as a familiar friend to forties fans and will also be a welcome bit of joy for the lover of swing and the connoisseur of great sounds. It feels modern and vintage all at once.

In The Mood’s fresh swinging sound is brought to you by The Three Belles and the WKS Studio Orchestra led by the extraordinarily gifted William Keel-Stocker, whose arrangements and energy shine throughout this lovely opener.

For Belles afficionados who know the girls’ work well, there’s more freshness and fun to come. But more of that soon!

Advance order your copy of In Full Swing!