She's looking straight ahead
My friend T told me about this Apes and Androids show on Saturday. It was going to be at Studio B (still hadn't been) and at Midnight (Midnight? But...but I'm laaaazy!) I had heard some songs before (in fact, I had wanted to book them last year for a show) so I had an idea of what to expect. The Monkey hadn't heard anything except that they covered Death on Two Legs which meant he'd give it a try. So off we went. We arrived at Nassau along with a trio of gentlemen in extremely tight acid wash skinny jeans. They were chattering about the place being "HUGE!" and "in the middle of nowhere!" I turned to J and whispered, "We're going to the same place. Let's follow them."
I loved the venue. In fact, I wished I could have a dance party there. I had visions of 70's Stevie Nicks inspired twirling underneath the disco ball. We made some new friends, peered at a weird scrimmed off area and waited for the show.
If Apes and Androids have a visual aesthetic, it would be "Gay Neon Pirate Robots." Some people might have a problem with that. Not me, I'm down with foppery and velveteen women's pantsuits. Interestingly, their efforts to make it an exciting show on a purely visual level proved to be an unintentional red herring. The quality of the playing was fantastic and the singing more so. They all sang, Queen-stylee*, and the keyboard player (and owner of the aforementioned velveteen) added additional mellotron-sounding washes to the mix, creating this massive cathedral-like sound. I won't front, I think I may have laughed nervously at first but quickly found the multi-tracking effect thrilling. It's a rare treat to have an entire band harmonize with each other.
The standout song of the night for me was a number called Doyle. It wasn't quite like the other tunes in their repertoire which leaned towards dance-y, glammy post-punk. The crowd waved around glowsticks (?!) and second vocalist/guitarist Brian Androids sang slowly in a quivering falsetto over a building wall of sound. His voice seemed to fly over each sound scape in slo-motion; I kept waiting for the held notes to fall suddenly or stop but they kept floating on, dropping only slightly and rising again. The song is still in my head. If I had that one, it would be posted below.
I was hip to the scheme, I heard there would be a cover, so when a recognizable drum beat start creeping into one of the later songs, I thought nah, no way! Yes way, Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles! I geeked out big time and I wasn't alone.
Left on a high, The Monkey loved the show and we nabbed a yellow cab almost immediately. The cab driver had the radio tuned to some music from The People's Republic of Congo. He didn't know the name of what was playing but he told me about some other musicans to investigate. Back on our block, walking towards our house, J affectionately called me a chatty Kathy. That reminded me... I have this song.
Song to seek:
Hot Kathy/Apes and Androids (Demo) (mp3)**
Befriend Apes and Androids on My Space. And go see them live.
* One of them was the Roger Taylor! I couldn't figure out which Ape or Android was responsible for the operatic quasi-Soprano vocal parts but I was super impressed. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Roger Taylor is the drummer in Queen and the operatic voice behind the "Galileo! Galileo!" line in Bohemian Rhapsody.
** I didn't even recognize this song at first when they played it. Then those harmony ooohs came in and I remembered.