Despite not filling every conceivable space on their first residency night in Broadcast there is a definite feeling of excitement and anticipation in the ether concerning the arrival of APACHE DARLING to the stage.
Tonight they are a three-piece with singer Stefanie Lawrence flanked by the flame haired potency of collaborator and keyboard/synth player Andrew Black and bassist Charlotte Printer, they open with the confidence of a band who have been plying their trade much longer than a year and change, and within the opening two tracks they already hold the audience firmly in the palm of their hand.
Second song ’Bleeding Edge’ draws the crowd to attention with its dark, brooding entrance before building to a chorus that releases the tension and unshackles a pulsing electronic refrain; CHVRCHES comparisons aside, the true secret of Apache Darling’s growing popularity is their canny ability to meld together simple but effective song structure with lyrics that exhibit sensitive insight.
‘Go’, Lawrence and Black’s first foray into writing together, is lyrically shrewd as it builds in tandem with Black’s synth heavy samples and keyboard led melodies, Lawrence powerfully repeats the lyric “certain as the sun… certain as the sun… certain as the sun… certain as the sunset…” while Black and Printer support her candid declaration until the song breaks and soars upon her true meaning as she ultimately concedes “where you go… I go!”.
As their popularity grows, and with bigger gigs in the offing, it’s easy to see why APACHE DARLING have gained such an, as yet emergent, but committed following, the simple understanding of giving an audience what it wants without compromising on musical integrity is their undoubted ace in the hole and never is this more evident than in their choice to cover Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ which they lovingly and respectfully execute while dousing it with their own particular brand of heavy synth and bass.
They end with new single ‘More Than Me’ which, it seems, the crowd has been eagerly awaiting, on this final track they ably fill every possible space with Lawrence’s soaring vocals and Black’s buzzing electronica as he steers the band through their last stirring phase and chord change.
Words: David Mcphee