An unusually diverse crowd gathers in the dark and sweaty basement of Birthdays in Dalston, creating an atmosphere of uncertain expectancy. This is explained by the nervous appearance of support band ‘F.U.R.S’, who murmur from behind thick curtains of hair that tonight is their debut performance.
As their nerves begin to evaporate the crowd becomes raucous. A black-clad vixen moans Karen O-esque vocals into the microphone as heavy and infectious guitar riffs conjure a simultaneously gritty and sultry sound, comparable to The Kills. For a first airing their show is very impressive, complete with projections of Bardot style faces morphing and shifting on the wall behind the band.
An onslaught of heavy fringes and girlish, sugary tones signals the arrival of tonight’s main act: The History of Apple Pie. Not to be confused with the archetypal twee indie pop their name suggests, THOAP open with ‘Tug’, a heady mix of grunge inspired guitars and dark base lines accompanied by the somewhat apathetic voice of singer and guitarist Stephanie Min. Comparatively fresh within the London circuit, the band produce a set list composed of a fair amount of new songs which do not disappoint, such as ‘The Warrior’ and ‘Before You Reach the End’.
The familiar refrain of ‘Mallory’ sends the audience into a mild frenzy, as the band break into a sweat and begin to prove their worth as potential veterans of the Dinosaur Jr. inspired lo-fi scene. ‘Do it Wrong’, the single the band are here to launch opens with a deliciously dirty rhythm, giving way to a dreamy demand to ‘keep your eyes on the prize…have no regrets’. ”Long Way to Go’, B-side to the new single is a little more syrupy, resonating with a celebration of hazy youth and misspent days.
The seemingly deliberate omission of previous, poppier single ‘You’re So Cool’ (incidentally written about a schoolfriend who knew every word to the film ‘True Romance’) seems to point to the fact that THOAP are leaning towards a fizzier, fuzzier future, demonstrated in their closing track ‘Before You Reach The End’, leaving the crowd with faces sweating, ears ringing and everyone wanting more.