NXNE Review: Apache Darling, June 20, Bovine Sex Club

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Prior to the start of NXNE, we sent out a questionnaire to a whole bunch of bands playing the festival, asking them a range of questions including what it is that separates them from other bands. As Glasgow electro pop group Apache Darling explained, they feel that they do stand out a bit from the rest of the crowd:

“We don’t use any backing tracks, so you’re going to get an electronic gig with a rock band feel to it. That, plus our keyboard player Andrew only has 8 fingers, so that’s probably separates us quite a bit from other acts!”

I didn’t really get a chance to check out how many fingers he had, so I’m not sure how seriously to take that last comment, but I can confirm that all of the keyboard/electronic elements did seem to be played live alongside the live drums and bass. It does help to differentiate them from acts whose live show largely amounts to just pressing play.

Singer Stefanie Lawrence thanked the audience for coming out and for “actually giving a shit.” I imagine playing a show to people who are there but don’t give a shit would be rather daunting, maybe even worse than playing to an empty room. The band put on a good show for those who attended (and took the opportunity to plug their show later that night), with Lawrence’s vocals soaring on top of the band’s electronic sounds. The bassist especially was impressive to watch. She kept it pretty low key and subdued at times, but would occasionally let loose with some jazzy/funky basslines.

One criticism I have of their live show is that the band needs to work on their timing a bit – there were a few moments of silence between the songs that often stretched out for a few seconds, but to their credit, they acknowledged it. Keyboardist Andrew Black apologized for the delays, claiming it was all his fault. “I never know when you’re ready. You never look at me,” said Lawrence. Black then responded with something about him being a bit scared of her. I’m sure he was joking, but who knows? Maybe there’s some band tension there. They could always go see that guy from Metallica’s “Some Kind of Monster” if they want to sort it out. Warning: he might want to join the band afterwards though.

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Posted on by Paul in North By Northeast

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