Keith Girdler, who had recorded originally with the band Blueboy, on Sarah Records, and subsequently in Arabesque, Snowdrops, and Lovejoy, put together Beaumont in 2000, with Lorraine Carrol (vocals), Dick Preece (keyboards), Leigh Saunders (trumpet, keyboards), and two former members of Blueboy: Martin Rose (drums, percussion) and Cath Close (vocals).
Unspeakably twee, the songs refer to plimsolls, tank tops, teardrops, and sipping cherry soda through straws. Brief instrumentals punctuate the disc, sounding like outtakes from the soundtrack of some lost Julie Christie film. It evokes, but does not directly imitate, the mid-1960’s, and it drips with wistful charm and beauty.
Keith Girdler was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and died three years later, at the age of 46.
For those of you who feel even Belle and Sebastian is too testosterone-fueled and macho for your delicate sensitivities, Beaumont might be just what you’re looking for.
Girls and Maths: