The Blind Tiger Club, Brighton 11/3/2012

There are two men holding brass instruments that they won’t stop blowing. I assume they have to warm them up before they play. But for over an hour? I want to make The Mighty Boosh’s sketch, where the man has trombones for legs, a reality. I am more than a little distressed when I find out that they are the support band, Brighton-based E.M.E. I feel aggressive when the studenty- looking bloke who appears to be their spokesperson won’t stop speaking any more than he will stop blowing his own horn. Apparently, they are here to make us ‘move and groove’. Dear God. Admittedly, there is a rather wasted-looking guy throwing some vigorously Bez-like shapes right up front but even he gives up when, for the fourth time, student bloke introduces E.M.E as the ‘Egg mayonnaise Ensemble’ “because that’s what we like in our sandwiches”. I was so raging that all I can tell you about them musically is that they play lengthy repetitive jazz/soul music (or is that just jazz music), albeit very well but as long as they have that bloke anywhere near a microphone, they will be doomed to failure. A bit harsh maybe but they you didn’t have to stand there for an hour listening to them. And I can’t even repeat what my plus one was calling them by the end of their set.

Perhaps karma read my mind because The Apples are so late coming on stage that, after about 45 minutes worth of waiting, we get to see two and a half songs before the last train home begins to toot as loud as the 9-piece’s brass section. Perhaps they were too busy chewing the face of girls in the bar (the one with the afro) or trying to chew the faces off the girls in the bar (the one who chatted my mate up who we later found out was the amazing drummer, Yona, the propelling force without which the band would not exist). Whatever the reason, what I actually see is incredible for a group of guys that, on the whole, look a little bit stoned. With outstandingly tight technical skill, the beat is central to The Apples’ instrumental funk/jazz and the massive sound that has won them deserved fans outside their native Israel, along with a superb couple of DJs wearing yellow boiler suits and some shameless arseshaking from the trumpet player during recent single ‘Thang’ (glad I caught that one). There is a miniature saxophone that I never get to see played. Eyecatching, truly memorable, I couldn’t be more gutted that I live a 50 minute train journey from Brighton. I shall just have to see them next time. And finally get round to owning one of their records. As should you.

Anna C