171-181 Kings Rd Arches, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NB
Contact: 01273 722 385
for the latest offers, events and competitions
If you’re looking for pioneers then you’ve come to the right place. Silver Apples pretty much invented the electronic music that dominates today – that minimal, pounding beat that soundtracks nearly every night. So how come, unless you’re a proper music geek, you haven’t heard of them? Well, they only existed for a couple of albums right back in the late 60s. Also they weren’t the easiest thing to get your head around, then or now. Part psychedelia, part percussive electronica, their classic 60s albums still sound intense now.
So it’s with some excitement that Brighton welcomes Silver Apples back to Brighton. Now a one piece with Simeon at the controls of various machines and oscillators, Silver Apples have a history with Brighton. An early 90s comeback gig at The Richmond saw 50 people turned up, something that astonished Simeon. Back then you just couldn't get their records – you heard about someone who might have seen a copy once – but now with their 60s LPs on a single CD, Simeon is looking at a rather bigger crowd in the Coalition.
But aside from fan numbers it’s business as usual. Very much, just an old guy with some equipment – there’s no MacBook Pro driving the beats, or fancy lightshow. But while he doesn’t perform any dance moves, or jump up and down, the 72 year old Simeon is quite a presence as he sings quietly into the mic and twiddles with his rag-tag gear in front of an old school oil projector giving an Acid Test flavour. With elements of techno and dub, there’s a stoned throb as squeals of electronics and cutting percussion layer over heavy, heavy bass. While the audience is very much an older crowd, the dubstep kids ought to lap this stuff up.
The best moments contain that child like sense of fun that runs through the classic songs, though with little in the way of traditional stagecraft you have to be willing to lose yourself. As the set comes to a close with the epic 'Oscillations', giving a tough electronic kick drum to play off that insistent whistle, rapturous applause fills the Coalition. How else do you react to a great show from a bona fide legend?
Words and pictures by James Kendall
Date: Thursday 3rd November 2011