I'm Being Good

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Brighton, England's underground music scene was thriving during 1991. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Clare was a musician in the city who had been running a cassette-only label called Graphic Death since the…
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Brighton, England's underground music scene was thriving during 1991. Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Clare was a musician in the city who had been running a cassette-only label called Graphic Death since the age of 16. It was under his direction that the pop/rock band I'm Being Good began that year. According to Clare, the project was developed to make music that he wanted to hear outside the confines of what he was capable of doing. The history of the band's name was drawn from two sources -- a line from the Bobby Goldsboro song "Honey" and a short story by Hubert Selby Jr. In its infant stage, I'm Being Good consisted of Clare and a trusty drum machine. Through his various connections in the Brighton music scene, Clare teamed up with bassist Dave Campbell in 1992. By the following year, the group was rounded out by drummer Simon Ounsworth. By this time, Clare's label had mutated from a cassette-only operation into an actual record imprint. The new label name became Infinite Chug, and the first official release was a single by the revised I'm Being Good lineup titled Hate Sturdy Buildings. Late that year, Jason Williams joined the band on bass, which caused Campbell's move to the second guitar spot. In 1994, Ounsworth left I'm Being Good after he came down with glandular fever. The remaining members tapped the shoulder of Tim Hall and asked if he'd join as the band's new drummer. At the time, Hall was playing in the band Garner with Williams. Since Hall already had this connection and knew other members of I'm Being Good, he accepted the invitation. The second single, We Have the Balleeen, was released shortly thereafter on Clare's label once again. It was roughly around this time when the band set out for its first tour of the United Kingdom. The band returned to England for the next six years, as well as making two trips to Europe. On the first tour of England a buzz was circulating in the underground about the group, which led to BBC radio's John Peel inviting the band to record a Peel Session. Peel referred to I'm Being Good's visit to the BBC as "one of the sessions of the year." Various imprints like Slampt and Che were also taking notice of the group and began approaching them about recording an album. The Lissy's label did manage to talk the group into cutting a record for them that year, but the material was never released. The record was tentatively given the title Horse Man Ship, and the first side was the material they'd recorded for the Peel Session. As the group was preparing to record the second side later that year, an accident took place that left Clare's hand crippled for almost 12 months. Clare had acquired a gooseneck microphone and decided to make a stand for it using an old coffee jar. As Clare tried cutting a hole in the plastic lid of the can for the mic stand, his Swiss army knife slipped and severed three tendons in two of his fingers. Following an operation to stitch up his wounded hand and a lengthy healing process, the band finished the second side of the LP in early 1995 at Low Brow Hi Fi Studio. Problems arose with receiving the permission to utilize the master tapes from the BBC though, and Lissy's postponed the release indefinitely. The band was also experiencing problems within, as Williams became sick with cancer. The band forged ahead as a trio for a short time, and Campbell and Clare joined Floorjacker with Clive Henry and Joe Tunmer. I'm Being Good appeared on the Destroy All Music compilation In Glorious Space Age Stereo: Gods with Proboscis and finally recruited Huggy Bear's Jon Slade to play bass. The group set out for another tour overseas, but they soon found that Hall was quitting in order to move to London. Instead of tracking down a new drummer, however, Campbell set down his guitar and became the new timekeeper. As 1996 settled in, the licensing problems for use of the Peel Sessions material was cleared up, but Lissy's had become disinterested in releasing what would have been I'm Being Good's full-length debut. In the meantime, Clare and Campbell's Floorjacker bandmate Tunmer joined I'm Being Good on guitar and drums and began trading off instruments with Campbell. Tunmer's stay was short-lived though, as he left to pursue a career in television. Although the group was experiencing a frequent turnover of musicians, they still managed to appear on three compilations that year, including Fisheye's Breaking the Plastic Hymen, Che Trading's Disco Sucks and Slampt's Elastic Jet Mission. By 1997, Clare and Campbell had quit working in their side project, Floorjacker. Clare turned his attention to Alex Ward's Thirteen Ghosts. Ward invited his friend Derek Bailey to record one side of the album, while Clare faxed Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore on a whim to see if he was interested in contributing some music to the second side. While all of this was taking place, I'm Being Good managed to appear on the Slampt compilation 4-Track-4-Track. The group consisted of Clare, Campbell, and Slade, but as 1997 turned into 1998, the trio approached guitarist Sam Dook of the Brighton-based Lure Luxx about joining on guitar. Dook accepted the offer, but no sooner was he in when Slade left to join Comet Gain. The remainder of the group released a split 7" record with Truman's Water for Clare's Infinite Chug label, but the real highlight came the following year as the band was finally able to release a full-length debut album, Poisonous Life. The noise-laden release was followed by a European tour in the summer of 2000, with Canadian band North of America. The outing was a badly organized affair that left I'm Being Good disillusioned after many of the concert dates fell through. For roughly eight months following the tour, the band didn't play any music. A compilation from Paroxysm records titled Scandalized, Traumatized, and Baptized did appear in that time though and was the first public release of the material that the group had recorded for their 1995 album Horse Man Ship. It wasn't until early 2001 when the group returned to the studio to record their second full-length record, Sub Plot, which proved to be a darker affair than their previous effort. The band also added bassist Jussi Brightmore following the release. The group had known Brightmore for a number of years and had performed with him in other projects, such as 100 Pets. At the end of the year, I'm Being Good was writing new songs and preparing to record its third full-length record (actually its fourth if Horse Man Ship would have seen the light of day). The band had also recorded a track for an EE: Lettro compilation that was to be released in the latter portion of 2001, featuring Old Time Relijun, Truman's Water, and Jad Fair, who Campbell had worked with in the past. Clare kept busy playing with Small Things, Clarence Palmer, and Pine Forest, while Dook, Campbell, and Brightmore continued to perform with 100 Pets. Campbell was also a part of Runt and Litmus, while Brightmore was involved with Baron Samedi.