Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Black Apples: The Black Apples

Review by John West

Images courtesy of The Black Apples and Octopus Records

This local popular vibrant garage blues band will be very familiar amongst the local gigging fraternity across Staffordshire, Cheshire and further afield. The Black Apples are an extremely hard working trio and have developed a bluesy formula which is very much their own. Over the past six years they have been leaving fans and audiences alike gasping for more with their high octane delivery on the live circuit. They soak up their inspiration from the bluesy swamp lands of the Mississippi Delta where the levees break via the garageland’s of Michigan of the late 60s to the infamous sounds pouring from CBGB’s in the mid 70s. Add into the mix by travelling from across the pond to a 60’s London blues scene eventually hitting the 100 club and its punk explosion and beyond, this talented trio are bearing their souls at the crossroads of 21century incendiary blues with their raw power and energy both here in Stoke and further afield. They have been exciting audiences on their very own travelling riverside blues boat trip, you simply just need to get on board if you haven’t already booked your ticket.

Alix, Jamie and Joe are a great bunch of lads very humble and unassuming they love to play and it’s that tightness and precision of their musicianship that’s certainly on display here - the debut album here for Stoke’s very own new label Octopus Records. Octopus are a new company which I believe will specialise in garage, blues, psychedelia, and rock, thus helping to put Stoke further on the musical radar. There is a lot of great talent out there and we certainly need to raise our profile, Stoke has such a vibrant music scene, so lets support it whatever your tastes. This is their first release and what a powerful debut it is - a no holds barred recording of wailing urgent vocals, storming riffs, held together by a driving rhythm section of bass and drums. It certainly delivers and if you’ve seen the boys live this will not leave you disappointed. A blistering seventeen tracks on the CD and thirteen on the limited edition vinyl (300).

Although The Apples released a live EP a while back, which is still available to down load, please check out their site for further information (details below) however this is their first full length studio release. There are live favourites abound contained herein including “Don’t fool me now” “Take me to the station” “ Hypnotize” and “Buy me a ticket”;yes they are all here in their glory. The band fire on all cylinders and do not disappoint on this album, you will all have a favourite I’m sure as they have successfully bought to this record the terrific sound of their live sets. It’s one which they will have you bopping along to and one you need to turn up loud annoying the neighbours with. This is for those fans both older and familiar and those new to the band its a great debut for a new company, so here’s to the future for the Octopus label and Stoke Sounds wishes them success with all future releases.

This is a great first release for them with a mighty fine band too!

The lads have a number of local gigs coming up including the Brown Jug over the August Bank Holiday and a special support at an Octopus Club gig with the legendary Pretty Things at Fat Cat in October. Don’t give the Apples the blues, ust get your self a copy of this album especially the vinyl collectors biscuit and keep local music alive! It’s Stoke stacked lightening indeed, just crank it up and get those feet stomping on the killing floor, get hypnotized as their energetic electric blues hits you from the speakers. Listen and feel it, this is the blues, kicking and screaming in the new decade and beyond. Play it loud!




Further recommended for your listening pleasure :-

Son House : King of the Delta blues

Blind Willie Johnson : The complete...

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

MC5 : Kickout the Jams

Rory Gallagher : Big Guns : Best of Rory Gallagher

Dr Feelgood : Down by the Jetty

The Ramones : Anthology

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