Review by Andy Houghton for MPM
The Nottinghamshire market town of Newark has been in the news a lot this week, primarily because it’s the setting for the new TV sitcom Newark, Newark.
Less well-known is the fact that Newark is also home of one of the East Midlands’ best live music venues, The Flying Circus, which has built a solid reputation for its gigs with some truly remarkable blues rock bands.
It’s therefore no surprise that Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse chose the venue for their first show in the UK stage of their current European tour.
It’s said that “to fully understand Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse is to experience the band live”, and it’s certainly true that there’s no better way to experience the thrilling energy of this California-based band’s music than at one of their shows.
The band kicked off the evening with ‘Heart Breaker’, the opening track from their 2019 debut album, ‘Love & Murder’. A slow-paced yet powerfully punchy number, it’s the perfect track to showcase not only Greta Valenti’s silky, soulful vocals but also Robin Davey’s awesomely skilful guitar work.
Two more favourites followed – ‘When My Baby Was Rich’ and ‘Have Mercy’ – before we got to hear ‘Watching The World Fall Down’, from their brand new album ‘Good Times End Times’ that was released just the day before. It’s an intensely catchy track, and even more so when it’s performed live.
Next up was ‘Bungalow Paradise’, a personal favourite and a track that did much to lift my spirits when it was first released during lockdown.
As the gig progressed, the show became increasingly ‘interactive’ with both Valenti and Davey taking advantage of the venue’s intimacy by leaving the stage and performing among the enthusiastic crowd. It made for a hugely engaging experience and went down a storm with the audience.
Davey’s solos throughout the gig were simply breath-taking, particularly in ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Drag You Down’, while Valenti kept everyone captivated not only with her outstanding voice but also her stage presence.
Credit too goes to the rest of the band – Emma Jonson (keyboard), Stephen Mildwater (bass) and Mark Barrett (drums) – for their skilfully expressive instrumentals. The mark of a great gig is when the band look as though they’re enjoying themselves as much as the audience, and that was certainly the case here.
Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse are only playing a handful of UK dates during their European tour, so don’t hesitate to see them if you get the chance. Failing that, you can stream the band’s latest album, ‘Good Times End Times’, on all major streaming platforms, or order a copy via the band’s website.
- Heart Breaker
- When My Baby Was Rich
- Have Mercy
- Watching The World Fall Down
- Bungalow Paradise
- Thrill Me
- Trouble Is Coming
- Is This The Blues
- Louisiana Good Ride
- Romeo & Juliet
- I’m On Fire
- Baby Baby
- Don’t Let The Bastards Drag You Down
- Fill Me Up
- Gris Gris
- What’s My Name