Live review: Apollo Junction back in Leeds eventually!
4 Reschedules and a Wedding (venue)….
Tonight it’s a trip into Leeds, well just outside to be exact for yet another post-album launch party.
Local boys Apollo Junction finally get to play their oft rescheduled mystery gig that the pandemic seemed determined to see would never happen as not only has it caused several rescheduling issues but also a change of venue as sadly the originally intended location, Blueberry Hill Studio suddenly shut down recently throwing the whole plan into chaos.
The replacement venue turned the task somewhat into a curveball, not only was it much larger than originally intended it’s also not really big on the gig scene due to being around a mile and a half from the Train station. Tonight it’s at the sprawling Irish Centre, a venue that’s more suited to birthdays weddings and wakes than launching your debut album so more bodies were needed – and it looked like the band’s families came to the rescue.
Pre Covid Apollo Junction were beginning to get quite a bit of traction on the live scene, for those unaware of the band well they’re your typical young black skinny jeans wearing indie boys but to pigeon hole them as just that is doing them somewhat of an injustice as they’re not bad at banging out a tune or two that’s different to the previous one and have a knack for a hooky chorus.
Thankfully since the world started opening up again they managed to get a fair few Festival and outdoor sets and supports in, including ones like Carfest and Leeds Millennium Square as well as Scarborough’s open theatre and Halifax’s Piece Hall not to mention that Always Remember made a surprise appearance as the backing track on MoTD 2’s September goals competition.
Unfortunately however upon arrival tonight the venue looked like it was set up for a family celebration rather than a gig as everyone was sat around the empty dance floor at tables looking like they were waiting for the wedding singer to start up, the only thing missing was young kids sliding across the floor on their knees.
I can’t imagine what the band were thinking as they kicked into their set, a track by track setlist echoing debut album Mystery’s tracklist but to give them their dues they seemed up for the task and by the time it was Paris’s turn the dance floor started to fill and frontman Jamie is out and about going round the tables shaking hands and high fiving folk in dance floor only stopping to sing from the back of the room, something that a studio gig would have been difficult to do.
Bassist Ben can’t cope with lights so disappears only to return wearing Bono’esk shades, The Roll n Roll is beginning to come to the fore and excited family members are entering the dance floor, however just for taking pictures before heading back to their seats…
By the time Born For Now is being performed the venue is starting to feel more like being at a gig especially during Jamie’s Born Slippy Interlude. Some parts were quite brave for the band too as What Are You Waiting For had only been played live once before and some 4 or 5 years ago at that – a false start seemingly confirming this, however in my opinion they should play it more often.
Following track Jayne isn’t a favourite live or otherwise too it seems, to the point the band don’t think they’ve ever actually played it live but as they got braver the more people entered the floor and by the time they were into their pre Mystery back catalogue stuff the tables were empty and the floor full – A resounding sign of a gig done well!
Set list. Begin In Your Arms Paris This Could Be the Day Born for Now All My Life Lost Ones If I Fell What Are You Waiting For? Jayne Always Remember Light Up The Sky 2 Car Family (out Friday 15th October) Sometimes. Unknown When We Grow Up Forever Begin (Again)