Friday, 17 April 2009

A&A Review

Tuesday night was set to be an evening of unparalleled bad taste. Apes and Androids have something of a reputation for outlandish posturing and baroque histrionics that runs through both their music and live performances. Somewhere between Freddie Mercury and The Mars Volta, if such a middle ground exists. Heartbreak, their warm-up act, were, I was informed, cut from a similar cloth. Needless to say I had built up a certain excitement; the majority of gigs I’ve attended of late have been low-key shoe-gazing affairs. Yet it seemed that my anticipation of an electro-glam orgy of operatic showmanship was not to be the grand event imagined. Initially there were rumours of painfully small ticket sales; rumours that turned into facts upon entering the near-empty auditorium to witness the start of Heartbreak’s set. Coupled with that, Apes and Androids had suffered a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ mistakenly abandoning half of their clothing at their London digs after a laundry session.
But fears of disappointment were quickly put to bed as Heartbreak got into their stride. Feet began to tap and bodies to casually gyrate; the crowd were determined to enjoy the evening in spite of their small number. Heartbreak quickly became something of a guilty pleasure. Their puritanical treatment of 80’s synth produced some painfully catchy tunes, especially their finale ‘We’re Back’, a euro-pop extravaganza that is desperately uncool by any standards but had even the most stoic members of the audience showing signs of movement. Argentine frontman Sebastian Muravchix, clearly not content to simply revive the music of the 80’s took it upon himself to bring back the dance moves too, treating the audience to a wide array of power poses and air punching. This proved mildly disturbing yet endlessly entertaining, the same feeling you get watching your dad’s late-night strutting at a wedding.
After a well-deserved break and some social lubrication, we were back in the auditorium ready for whatever Apes and Androids had decided to throw our way (vast quantities of sparkling confetti, it later emerged). Having managed to locate the rest of their clothing it looked like the remainder of the evening would progress unhindered. In true rock’n’roll style they emerged onto a stage swathed in darkness, a bassy dirge the only sign of their arrival, aside of course from the silhouettes of their waif-like frames prancing to and fro. And then the noise arrived, thick and fast. Lights went up, drums were beaten, guitars and synthesisers tinkled masterfully and an array of operatic vocals spilled into the air. From the word go Apes were determined to impress, visually and musically, pairing fiercely intricate guitar solos with tight shimmering leggings, meticulous beats with vibrant face paints. At times they were reminiscent of At The Drive In, at others Sparks, but all the while they maintained a sound entirely their own, no matter how many times comparisons are made to MGMT. ‘Hot Kathy’, ‘Nights of the Week’ and ‘Radio’ were firm favourites but finale ‘Creepy Girls’ had the crowd punching the air until the last bit of reverb had died from their amps. This is a band that definitely doesn’t disappoint.


  1. thats really good. i'm now worried that mine will look moronic in comparison.......