Apeman Spaceman: The Amersham Arms, London

When 2 members of cult heroes Dogs (Johnny Cooke & Rikki Mehta) formed Apeman Spaceman in 2014, it felt inevitable the world wouldn’t miss out on their genius twice. The success, and more importantly, their vision wasn’t forthcoming immediately. However, 5 years on, it’s all coming together like Hannibal’s finest plan.

The north London outfit headlined The Amersham Arms this past Saturday with a verve and aggression that was undeniable. They took the emotive destruction of IDLES and razor sharp lyricism of Sleaford Mods and put it through their distorted outer space landscapes.  

Latest single ‘Living in a Teacake’, recalled the early guitars and bass licks of Dogs classic ‘London Bridge’. Here though, they go harder and more punkadelic to reach new dystopian glories.

On ‘Check Me Out’, they again find that past sweet spot and combine it with their twisted future. It’s a spellbinding concoction, and when Cooke’s vocals hit full force, they transcend music. They become a devilish subconscious you cannot switch off.

It may have taken five years, but on this evidence it was more than worth it.

This Friday marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music from 7pm. Click the image for tickets:

Old Town Souls - 2018

Kent’s Old Town Souls return with their third EP '2018'. Band leader Iverson, relentlessly plays around Kent solo or with his band and nationwide with a Who covers band.

This work ethic, without the riches that rock music once offered, seems to be informing band leader Kevin Iverson’s song writing. There is an ache, a nagging tension throughout.  ‘My Only Narcotic’ sees Iverson blowing of steam to his wife. The loneliness of life on the road and, a life that hasn’t given him the break his talent yearns for (yet).

With a QOTSA riff pulsating away, Iverson reflects on might yet be and the principles in which to get there. The anguish he gets over on the line ‘easily distracted to a heart that’s been neglected’ is a stomach turner. It’s no wonder he is questioning selling his soul.

On ‘Silence’, Iverson has saved the best till last. It’s Shane Meadows style in a rock-cum-soul form. At times, it’s a gritty romance with the love interest emerging from a cloud of cigarette smoke. In true Meadows glory though, it’s coupled with the monotonous of everyday life.

Comfortably the best of the three EPs from Old Town Souls so far. Musically, the hall marks of the other two remain but, there is a feeling that, in a bleak personal period, Iverson has soul searched and come out victorious.