The History of Apple Pie
The Bull & Gate
Kentish Town, London30/03/11
One for the guitar geeks – the folk who ignored Ian Brown’s poetic tone but marvelled at John Squire’s bowl-cut; who shun a twitching Thom Yorke for Johnny Greenwood and his electronic, outer-space squeals; who ogle not Kim Gordon but Thurston Moore for the way he navigates his way around feedback and effortlessly makes sense of the noise. A band called The History of Apple Pie should be super twee and play four-chord songs, but, largely thanks to lead guitarist Jerome Watson (also of Hatcham Social), they’re already a mesmerising live band, and they’ve not even played ten shows yet.
Of the above, technically-savvy musicians, it’s Squire that Watson physically resembles the most, with the coy, head-down stage presence of Graham Coxon. Sonically, as he grinds out distorted riffs and hammered chords with ease, he’s an impressive mix of Moore and Greenwood. His is a phenomenal sound, naturally (and enviously) delivered, but it does pull focus from everything else that’s going on onstage. And, while less ‘showy’, THOAP’s overall dream-pop take on My Bloody Valentine and other early ’90s bands, is almost as convincing. Singer Stephanie Min could do with looking less petrified and turning up her doe-eyed sigh, but tracks like ‘You’re So Cool’ have them down as a fledgling hybrid of Teenage Fanclub and Sonic Youth. For now, Jerome is unquestionably the star, but given six more live shows there’s a good chance that the rest of THOAP will be demanding your attention too.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 27 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. April 2011