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Fight Like Apes

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This article originally appears on Subba Cultcha.

Sequestered to the rafters of the Kentish Town Forum, the Ting Tings soundcheck reverberating down the narrow corridors, a door is suddenly sprung open to reveal Pockets and Maykay of Irish great new hopes Fight Like Apes squeezed onto a couch designed to let you know if your neighbour showered this morning. 2008 has been an astronomical year for the Dubliners that has seen them take their pop-culture obsessed dirty synthpop and rise from nowhere to SXSW buzz band status, Glastonbury performances and BBC play list staples.

In reality of course it hasn’t been quite the whirlwind that it seems and the band were originally formed back in 2006, however with only two limited edition EPs last year there’s no question that the band are finally hitting paydirt in 2008 and riding a wave that will only be enhanced by the release of their debut long player, ‘Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion’. “It’s funny actually I was doing an interview recently and they started listing off everything we’ve done and it was the first time I thought, ‘My God it’s been pretty amazing’”, states MayKay when pondering over the last 12 months. “For me Reading and Leeds were the big ones”, notes Pockets, “everyone always says Glastonbury but Reading and Leeds was the first time we actually got to see the work we’d done this year actually pay off in terms of festival crowds actually waiting there to see us,” with MayKay agreeing “Yea, we didn’t even think anybody knew who we were.” “To be greeted by cheers and see that everyone was really up for it when you haven’t really even done anything yet was just incredible,” concludes Pockets with measurable glee. “None of us have actually been to any UK festivals before so now we’ve done T in The Park, Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, we’ve been crossing them off but we still can’t even believe we got free tickets, it’s been a summer of running past security guards really quickly before they realise that we don’t belong there,” continues MayKay. But they do belong there and later that evening when MayKay is screeching, ‘Did you really fuck her/ Did you stick things up her’ as the band creating a gloriously haphazard synth mess cacophony behind her you can’t help but be enthralled by the way Fight Like Apes unfurl onstage. Maykay, like some gloriously dishevelled Tim Burton imagined, Munch rendered, Queen shrieks, convulses and demands in a manner that leaves you equally desiring to fuck her and flee from her, Pockets mean while churns out melodic bursts from the keyboard christened ‘Pornmess’ before deciding with alarming frequency it would be much more interesting to be either fighting Maykay or in the audience, all of which happens in front of bassist and drummer, Tom and Adrian treating their instruments with the kind of wanton disregard that led to a recent blog entry from the band detailing how Tom announced he only had half a guitar the day prior to the Irish album launch.

Such success prior to the release of your debut album can often lead to a vicious hammering of the ‘Destroy’ button by the media and internet tastemakers alike, just look at the rage directed at Black Kids in recent months, “there’s definitely been a backlash at home but I think you get that anywhere, but then we’ve got our hardcore fans who are just so supportive and excited by everything we’re doing,” enthuses Maykay, “we released our album at home on the 26th of September and we went home for one night to release it and played in Dublin and the crowd…I don’t think I could hear myself sing a word all night the crowd were just making so much noise and screaming every word from start to finish and that just really restores your faith in what you’re doing.”

Any amount of time spent in the company of Pockets and Maykay will soon reveal the bands obsession with 80s TV, Movies and pop culture, indeed the bands album takes its title from an infamous A-Team episode, and discussion soon turns to the merits of having Corey Feldman over Corey Haim in their ‘Holy Trinity’ listed in the influences section of their MySpace. “Well the Haim/Feldman thing…let me just say I love both Corey’s absolutely, but Corey Haim,” begins Pockets before making the kind of face that used to be seen by people losing ‘Peanut Russian Roulette’ before the offending nuts were banished from Revel land. “Let’s just say Haim really let me down in a big way and the Feldawg had a music career as well so…” “ooh who’s that band? The Thrills!” Interjects Maykay gesticulating wildly, “Oh yes The Thrills named a song after Corey Haim and we don’t like them so that just made the decision a whole lot easier, plus the acting chops of Corey Feldman, he could actually act as well…also Haim always got the girl, Feldman was the underdog,” concludes Pockets with a vicious smile. As for a fourth member of the Holy Trinity? “Tom Selleck, without doubt,” they both enthuse. “He lived right next to the first studio we went into (in Seattle – Where …Golden Medallion was recorded) so that was really cool as well,” notes Maykay. Siding with underdogs such as Corey Feldman may fit well with Fight Like Apes original mindset but as songs such as ‘Jake Summers’ and ‘Lend Me Your Face’ bring round a shell-shocked Ting Tings crowd to fully signed up Ape-ees it can’t be long before the band are a musical powerhouse to rival the Selleck ‘tache. But what demands would such success bring for the bands rider? “Well I’d like some selected whiskeys,” notes Maykay before Pockets virtually leaps out of his seat and declares, “Buckfast!!” How conducive excessive Buckfast might be to gigs is no doubt up for debate yet Pockets assures me that he thinks Buckfast fuelled gigs are certainly the best. “I’d like a different ex boyfriend on the rider each night,” pipes up Maykay, “so they’d have to spend their night preparing my gig for me.”

With a future that contains continual touring and a full UK release for their ‘Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion’ album, 2009 looks set to rightly surpass the ascendant 2008 they have been experiencing, catch them up close and personal now before the Buckfast dries up and Maykay runs out of ex boyfriends and they leave the small venues behind!


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