Gig review: Apollo Junction at The Wardrobe, Leeds

Apollo Junction at The Wardrobe, Leeds. Picture: Marc Melander
Apollo Junction at The Wardrobe, Leeds. Picture: Marc Melander
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There has been a growing buzz about Apollo Junction around the city for a few months now and I must admit that I set off to see them with some pretty high expectations.

The Wardrobe venue is not one I am familiar with but I was very impressed by the staff, the range of drinks and the rather impressive sound system. I arrived early enough for the two strong support bands and found myself a seat on the raised platform to the side of the dancefloor. The Transmission were up first, with a Stone Roses inspired sound, they made a good noise that happily passed half an hour and were quickly followed by Tytania who reminded me of Del Amitri and had a singer with a good solid voice. They threw a few covers in and got the growing crowd interested.

Apollo Junction are an indie, electro band that have had quite a year so far. Having gone from playing to 30 people to a crowd of 300 tonight within a year, the future looks very bright and as the lights dimmed and the crowd moved forwards I was wondering if the band could actually live up to the hype. But I had no reason to worry as deliver they did! With a sound that reminded me of the first Killers album but a bit more electro, mixed with Coldplay but a bit heavier, and an unsung Leeds artist of a few years ago Casper Hauser, Apollo Junction produced song after song that sounded like singles, and with a dedicated group of fans already singing every word, you can tell that Apollo Junction have worked out how to work a crowd. Songs ‘Born for Now’, ‘Paris’ and full on potential anthem of a generation ‘Carry On’ even stopped the bar staff from working. As singer Jamie Williamson left the stage and moved through the crowd, he got them dancing and then even moved a large section from one part of the room to another in order to dance together. The band show stagecraft that is not often present in new bands.

The band played there final song with bass player Ben Hope and guitarist Matt Wilson both stood high up on tables at the side of the stage and drummer Jonathan Thorton on his feet and singer in the crowd dancing with the fans and I must admit that by now I was right down there in the middle with them all. It was an atmosphere that reminds me of Shed Seven or Kaiser Chiefs gigs, a total mixture of people all there just to have a fantastic time.

The final words from the band were ‘Let’s do it again soon, yeah?’ and the crowd all agreed but you just get the feeling that next time it might well be to 3,000 people.

I got the opportunity to meet them in the bar after the gig for the obligatory photo/chat and they seemed like down to earth, nice lads. They were telling me they had people who had travelled from France to come watch them play, which to say a year ago they were gigging to 30 people shows a massive step up. As people walked by them they made sure they had time for everyone who had travelled to watch the show, it really felt like a city was starting to get behind their band.

You could really feel that the hype is correct and the buzz that has being created is completely earned because Apollo Junction fully have the potential to be the next big band from Leeds/Yorkshire/the North/England and they’re music is demanding that you get behind them. I am on their side and next time they hit a venue anywhere near by – I will be there.

Andrew Watkins

Eko Create.