Who would have thought that a band named after a tennis player would turn out to be one of the best new things of the autumn?

Come to think of it, who would have thought that the expanding, spruced-up pop campaign would start with a band from Holland? Not me.

But this foursome, BETTIE SERVEERT, are about to sweep through the dusty old indie charts wlth the ease of Mary Poppins in full flow. There is an amount of innocence and naivety present in their songs that glides over current dour factions in the aiternative sector. They are a revelation of sorts.

Playing their debut British gig last month supporting Throwing Muses at London's Clapham Grand, they looked nervous, but enchanting: occasionally coy, but powerful with it.

Now comes the first LP- picked up by Guernica in the face of widespread interest- which confirms the potentlal. 'Palomine', with nine original tracks, and one Sebadoh cover, is a warm, uplifting and engrossing record.

"And maybe melancholy," adds singer/guitarist Carol Van Dijk, in a voice barely audible over the racket of the NME pub. "The reason we do this, why we play music is because... we like doing it. It's fun," she adds. "You're not supposed to say that, are you?"

Formed from the ashes of various small-time Amsterdam bands, BS had been minding their own business playing local gigs until a friend sent a demo to Gerard Cosloy at Matador Records in America- first home of Teenage Fanclub and currently Superchunk.

Cosloy, impressed, Invited the band over to play at this summer's New Music Seminar in New York, where they pulled apart the Knittlng Factory with a glorious show that proved to be one of the most talked about ot the week.

On their return to Holland they were contacted by Ivo at 4AD, who set about organising the Guernica debut.

'Palomine' cruises through '60s California, through new wave '70s, up to laid-back guitar regions of the underground '90s.

Bettie Serveert- it's Bettie serves, in Dutch, after '70s tennis pro Betty Stove - are good clean fun. And more.

This band will shine in '93.

Steve Lamacq

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