SMALL GIG REPORT | Apna – Ivory Blacks (04.11.18)


So there was an hour’s delay due to drop outs, but eventually Open Minded Skeptics from Leven got the gig rolling with not the longest of sets. As stated, they were a little knackered from antics the previous night, so they weren’t on top form, but saying that, they were better than they probably had a right to be.

We were honestly impressed by Koupa shooting out some swift vocals, the riffs were not bad and the rhythms were fine, although maybe a little too occupied trying to reposition the drumkit.

It all came to a screeching halt when a guitar string snapped, and being exhausted with no backups to hand, they called it quits. Not much to say given the circumstances, it could have been worse, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe a little less of the fruit juice next time…

In our review of his debut EP, we named Minches “a peculiar breath of fresh air in the Scottish scene”, and after this night, that was clearly an understatement. He commenced with his first song, belting out “SHUT THE F*** UP, STOP BEING A F***ING C***!”, totally unaware that it was a 14+ gig…

So after being naturally told to abort and somehow not getting himself kicked out, he continued with tracks from his record, such as Caked In DiamondsSlumberjack and the catchy Something Decent, and credit to Martin for censoring himself on the fly; “horrible person” was definitely not the original lyric.

We even got treated to a freestyle revolving around cats, death and the seaside…as you do. He put on a manic performance, fearlessly bouncing about flashing his hairy chest with such a fierce energy that radiated off the stage.

It was something so bizarre, yet you couldn’t look away. We were right in saying that he is one of the most unique acts on the go right now, he’s just incomparable. Whether he’s able to build a wider audience is another question, but for now, we’ll bask in the oddness.

And now we return to the realms of reality with somebody way more normal, down to earth and rule-abiding – Laurie Talbot-Heigh, better known as LTH.

He was a lovely gentleman, and he and his backing crew gave us a line of nice, simple numbers with decent vocals, solid memories and fine hooks.

A couple of points – Laurie needs to loosen his nerves a touch, and the whole band could do with tightening up more, but honestly these are things that nothing more than a little polish and practice can fix up, but overall we’d be happy to see this chap in action again.

And finally, to close off the night were the quartet of Apna, and a worthy choice to do so. They fired out a set of enjoyable indie rock tunes with engaging rhythms and catchy choruses that had us and the crowd squished at the barrier quite invested.

The highlights included Black Star, Day At The Races and Who’s It Gonna Be, and their cover of Kasabian’s LSF was smashing.

There were a couple of major slip-ups, without a doubt, but we’re not going to hold that much against them, because they were otherwise genuinely entertaining.

A long way to go yet, but Apna demonstrated a fair amount of talent and promise, and if given time to develop, we could be seeing them on bigger stages in years to come, and we don’t say that lightly.

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