Live Review: The History of Apple Pie at Birthdays
Published on August 20th, 2012 | Theo Gorst
Ironically for an event that celebrates the launch of a single called “Do It Wrong”, The History of Apple Pie have conducted their short career in the best possible manner. As was alluded to in the band’s recent Rocksucker interview, singles from the London quintet have been few and far between, yet on the evidence of Wednesday’s show this was a wise move, allowing the band time to hone their craft. Indeed along the way there have been casualties and although first single “You’re So Cool” was omitted this was well judged, with it now appearing incongruous against their newer, more developed material.
First up however are four piece F.U.R.S. Despite this being their debut show the band are marked by their poise; then again, when your frontwoman looks like [and exudes the ice cool demeanour of] Nico this is hardly surprising. Poise doesn’t necessarily equal brilliance however, and their sound does appear remarkably well worn in the tradition of sludgy, blues-indebted rock. However in light of the growth tonight’s main-event have undertaken it’s worth allowing F.U.R.S to develop.
With three guitarists The History of Apple Pie have a heavy and powerful sound on record, and thankfully they manage to recreate this in a live capacity. Starting with “Tug”, the track does indeed tug the audience back and forth; Stephanie Min and Kelly Owens’ vocals are devastatingly alluring when paired together, while Jerome Watson’s ascending and descending guitar lines wander over a propulsive rhythm that wouldn’t sound amiss on a recent Dinosaur Jr. LP. “Tug” stands as one of the band’s most introverted tracks; others, despite maintaining a sweet melody, have more urgency to them.
“Mallory” is characterised by the sort of squealing guitars Teenage Fanclub used to great effect in “Star Sign”, “Do It Wrong” grows in pressure before exploding in a frenzy of Yo La Tengo fret-board fooling, and recent B-Side “Long Way To Go” is a a bubblegum guitar pop song that Lush would be proud of.
After “Do It Wrong” frontwoman and songwriter Stephanie Min asked the audience if they “sounded alright”. Needless to say, the band sounded terrific. Their debut LP couldn’t come out sooner.
Three and a Half Quails out of Five!