There were a lot of quirky British production groups around in the late-90s, and having recently looked back at All Seeing I, here’s another one that made some entertaining songs. Bentley Rhythm Ace were from Birmingham, consisting of Richard (who had previously been in Pop Will Eat Itself) and Mike. They took their name from a drum machine, seemingly not realising the acronym was BRA.
Also helping them out was Fuzz Townshend, who had a minor hit by himself in 1997 with “Hello Darlin'”, which I only remember because I heard this played on BBC Radio 1 once, and it started to skip at the end, but it took a while before the host noticed. In May 1997, Bentley Rhythm Ace released their first album (which was self-titled), and this made the Top 20.
But it was in September 1997 when they had their biggest hit with “Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out!”, which reached no. 17. Now I liked this one, as there were lots of weird “boing”-type noises which is always great, although some felt that this veered a little too close to the “novelty” genre. This was also the soundtrack to plenty of TV shows and adverts. They were good value in magazine interviews too, going on about finding old vinyl records in car boot sales which could feature songs or sound effects to influence them.
And I remember them going on about their “wonky teeth”. They would also perform on stage with comedy beards, and with innovations like that, soon people were very eager to check them out. They then vanished off the scene for about three years, and they returned with another rather strange song. In May 2000 “Theme From Gutbuster” was released, which became their second and final Top 40 hit single.
I remember seeing the video on MTV, along with their explanation in an interview of what a “Gutbuster” actually was, which all sounded rather horrible really. And one critic seemed to be rather amused by the couplet “feel the rhythm in your gut/get up and move your butt“. Their second album “For Your Eyes Only” failed to make the Top 40, and they haven’t been heard of much since.