Regular readers of Sonic Breakfast will know that I’ve been drawn to tales of adaptation and flexibility in the past months. The last year has been a global nightmare and many of us have just put our heads in our hands and screamed at it all. There’s nothing wrong with that. Others have used the shit situation to their advantage; they’ve got on with things despite the bum set of cards dealt. Those people deserve much respect.
I suspect that David Gane falls into that camp. A touring technician for some top stars (Lana Del Rey anyone), the collapse of the live industry hit him hard. But, to fill that void, he got in touch with mates, Mark and Matt, to jump-start a fledgling project back into life. The world now has two tracks from Apteekii to savour with a full EP to follow next month. Ever up for the challenge, the entire EP was recorded remotely with the trio being in separate locations; David and Mark are just down the road from here in Cambridge with Matt residing up in Stamford.
You wouldn’t know that this is the product of different studios; there are no obvious cracks in the seams with Apteekii. Take the first song of theirs that I heard – What’s Real’s a neat comment about fake news and the ridiculousness of Donald Trump. It’s impeccably performed pop, a statement that says we’re confident in what we’re doing and we think you’ll approve. Apteekii’s most recent single, Secrets, grows from this base; an enduring riff and a song all about the moment when living a lie becomes too much.
Apteekii get their name from the Finnish word for ‘pharmacy’. “We like the idea of music being a medicine, and bands or artists taking on the role as a kind of drug store/pharmacy.“, they mention in their press releases. I like that idea as well. These two tracks are definitely painkillers; sometimes soothing and always offering a decent distraction from the difficult stuff that’s going on.
As my plans to move to Spain edge ever closer, I’m keen that Sonic Breakfast will still host gig reviews from the UK. My good friend, Paul Champion, has covered a couple in Leicester and now the lovely Katy Adkins reports from Cambridge after a happy Friday night.
Sonic Breakfast introduced me to Ferris and Sylvester with its blog (here) about their newly released EP, Made In Streatham (Jan 31st 2018) and it was a love-at-first-listen affair. Over the last month this has been my go-to music and I’ve felt that inquisitive longing to get to know their work more extensively. Last night’s gig in Cambridge has left me temporarily sated.
After a drive of just over an hour, with my +1 sidekick in tow we arrived at The Boathouse, Cambridge, to find just a single parking space available and it was directly outside the venue – joy! This adventure was going very smoothly so far and there was a growing sense of excited anticipation for what was to come.
The Boathouse is part of a popular chain of gastro-pubs and seemed an unlikely venue: we found that we were not the only people to find themselves questioning the bar staff about whether we were in fact in the correct place. We were directed through a small door, upstairs to the intimate function room, where seats were set out in front of a small, warmly-lit stage area. Whilst waiting for the acts to prepare and as people arrived I learned that this was one of a number of warm-up gigs being hosted around Cambridge by the organisers of The Den Stage as part of The Cambridge Folk Festival set to take place in August 2018. They whet the appetite of potential crowds with up and coming acts whom have already graced The Den stage or those who are expecting to later this year.
I can’t quite remember when I first crossed paths with Steven James Adams. I’m pretty sure it was at the Cambridge Folk Festival. As I queued to get a beer, he stood up and played an impromptu acoustic set with his band. This was many years ago.
A lovely friend, Nicola, encouraged me to listen to the Broken Family Band more. She was right to do so. I grew to love all that they offered. In a venue, here in Leicester, that has been gathering cobwebs and closed for years now, I once got so rowdy seeing them that I threatened a guy with a broken glass. Times have changed.
As my friendship with Nicola grew so did my love of the Broken Family Band. She procured tickets to their last ever show at the Portland Arms in Cambridge. On Halloween night we went along, experimenting with gothic mascara and stupid drugs. It was an incredible show.
Much as I’d loved, Steven James Adams drifted in and out of my vision. There was a far too casual gig for The Singing Adams in Leicester. We shook hands and I had a drunken fanboy moment with Steven and Dan Mangan backstage at the very last Summer Sundae whilst Jake Bugg played elsewhere (fact). There were new priorities then.
Heck, it’s lovely to discover that I’ve got catching up to do. The man has now spent four years doing a solo thing. There are two new records to immerse myself in. It was a random message from a PR company that once again piqued my interest.
(Click on page 2 to find out what piqued my interest)