The Dead Betas
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The Dead Betas

Barnstaple, England, United Kingdom

Barnstaple, England, United Kingdom
Band EDM Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Beta Fest Brings on the Bands"

IT ain't no secret is it?

The contemporary music scene in Barnstaple has become all cadaverous since the closure of gig-spots Inn On The Square and The White Horse. Without Lilico's doing their bit, we may well have been entirely bereft of any decent live performance.

That's why it's so good that Black Hole Promotions are doing such great things in Bideford and beyond. But they're more than just an iron lung providing life-support to an ailing scene. And they're more than a promotion-post propping up a limping scene that's lost a little vigour. They're grabbing the scene by the scruff of the neck and revolutionising opportunities for local bands and gig fans. They're putting on gigs-a-plenty and they're hosting ramshackle jam sessions too.

Black Hole Promotions is an extension of local noiseniks The Dead Betas. Next week sees their bi-annual music festival hit The Palladium in Bideford. So now's a good time to talk to the ever-industrious man behind it all, Tobias Matthews.

"Beta Fest started out as The Dead Beta's two-day party in a barn," explains Tobias. "It was free and I mustered together all of my favourite local talent, with The Dead Betas and Jackdaws being the driving force. I started it because I love sharing live music with friends."

Forgive the romancing and literary prancing, but I find it pretty cool how what started as a party in a barn has become the best underground music festival in Devon.

And it's not just local bands that play, artists travel from all over the UK to be part of it.

"The idea behind getting a few out-of-town bands down was to open up an opportunity for our local bands to go and play away with the bands we brought down. I felt the music scene was missing something. There just wasn't enough freedom, too many people were into one thing and it all felt so closed. I wanted to open all music to everyone."

Woah! How's that for a soundbite? But PR patter this certainly is not. It's clear when speaking to Tobias that his passion and enthusiasm for the local scene is genuine and heartfelt. He does it because he loves it. And he wants as many people to share it with him as possible.

"I love seeing kids around here have something to do of a weekend, somewhere they can feel safe and be themselves. All ages have loved my gigs. Several of my mate's mums have come to see their kids play and ended up as regulars."

Local bands on the 30-strong line-up include Gang Of Thieves, Conflict Against and Lunacry. Make sure you catch Jackdaws' (www.jackdaws1. headline slot on Sunday night as they take their increasingly-assured, snarling noise pop to the stage. And, of course, catching the Ritalin-dodging, adrenaline-fuelled, synth-smashing, electronic-smattered punk of The Dead Betas ( received) is a must. They headline Saturday night. But what of the bands travelling down? Who is Tobias looking forward to seeing?

"Word has spread about Beta Fest and this year we have a great band called Scholars ( down (from Hemel Hempstead). They wouldn't normally venture this way as they play larger venues with bigger bands." It's quite a coup.

"But I am mostly looking forward to seeing our old friends Cry Raphael who venture down from the most northern point in Wales to play every Beta Fest.

"They have such a great sound and are a fantastic bunch of lads," explains Tobias before digressing in a way that suggests every second thought is given to promoting the festival.

"Our musical brothers from Arts and Crafts, who have played all of our Beta Fests and parties to date, are coming down even though they can't play. That's how good a weekend it's come to be, they're coming down from Burton just to party with us."

"That's what spurs me on. It gives me hope that the music scene round here can just get bigger and better with the continued support of The Beta/Black Hole monsters."

Presumably he means the fans.

"Without them, we wouldn't have an audience to play to. I would also like to say thank you to the bands. All of their efforts just get ploughed back into making North Devon music stronger."

Beta Fest takes place at The Palladium in Bideford on Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24.

Weekend tickets cost £10 and are available at all Black Hole gigs. Day tickets can be brought for £4. You'd do well to get your tickets in early. This is DIY-music promotion at its best and it's going to be quite a party.

Scenes are defined by this.


6pm - Doors open

6.15pm - No Half Measures

6.55pm - Today Never Ends

7.35pm - Conflict Against

8.15pm - Lunacry

8.55pm - thekidisfireworks

9.35pm - Flee Mt Fuji

10.15pm - Severn

10.55pm - King Tuts


11.35pm - Gang Of Thieves

12.15am - Finish


5pm - Doors open

5.10pm - 101 ways to kill a


5.45pm - Bi-Polar

6.20pm - With Love From


6.55pm - Letch

7.35pm - Acoustic dispute

8:15pm - The Dead Atlantic

8.55pm - Cry Raphael

9.35pm - Room 4 1 more

10.15pm - 2 Sick Monkeys

10.55pm - Fighting Fiction

11.35pm - The Dead Betas

12:15am - Finish


5pm - Doors open

5.05pm - Rated PG

5.45pm - Ricky and The


6.25pm - The Aurora Skies

7.05pm - The Beacons

7.45pm - Off Beat

8.25pm - Detached

9.05pm - Bombers

9:45pm - The Julies

10.25pm - Scholars

11.05pm - Jackdaws

11.45pm - Finish - North Devon Journal


Blast Arcade-Core EP - 18th Dec 2010
Bideford College Single - 13th March 2011
The Dead Betas + Jackdaws Split EP 7" Vinyl only - 3rd August 2011
15 Single - 3rd August 2011
15 Regularly played on several small, internet and regional radio shows.



The Dead Betas are DIY youngpunks from the depths of North Devon, growing up in the same town as Cult Maniax and thriving on the underground punk scene they are a band set for great things. These guys not only brought a new and exciting vibe into the local area, they took it over and now run most of the gigs for unsigned and upcoming bands in North Devon, giving more young bands the chances they never had. With a mixture of old school punk and modern synth sounds The Dead Betas bring something fresh and exciting into the world of modern punk. The growing buzz around them has secured them slots with the likes of the Boomtown Rats and UK Subs and their recent 21 day UK tour has secured them many more fans across the country. Not affraid to speak their mind, The Dead Betas are no noncence DIY fun. Get down to a gig, and try not to get broken!