With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

A Christmas Message From Apollo Junction December 22, 2021


Today’s Christmas message is from Apollo Junction courtesy of singer Jamie. These lads have had a great year in spite of the Covid chaos. Hometown headline shows, Festival appearances, supporting the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, a pub tour, and a stonking new album. I reckon this lot will become huge and deservedly so. Click here to go to the band’s site and buy yourself some classy vinyl, hats, T-Shirts, and even a Tea Towel! If you want to jump right into their great tunes click here to find them on Spotify

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Apollo Junction – The ‘All In’ Pub Tour – Saturday 11th December 2021 December 20, 2021


The limited-edition T-Shirt, guess who bought one? 🙂

This would be the first time I have ever seen the same band play three times in one day and unsurprisingly the first time I have ever been on a band one-day tour/ pub crawl in a vintage bus. This opportunity came about because I purchased the Yorkshire special edition of Apollo Junction’s new album, ‘All In’ as well as it being limited, signed, coloured vinyl and with a tea towel it also came with a ticket to this very different way to spend a Saturday. The first venue was in Otley at an old hotel called the Black Horse. I briefly watched the band setting up in a relatively small function room on the first floor. All of the band’s kids were in attendance, and we came close to getting a set from the Apollo Juniors. This first set was an acoustic run-through of some classy tracks from their first album ‘Mystery’. Bassist Ben nailed his acoustic for that difficult opener. The band also added an acoustic stomp through “Two Car Family” from the new album. As it was December the boys played a Yuletide standard, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, towards the end Jamie admitted that they had spent time rehearsing it, but hadn’t confirmed how to end it! But they did it with style and aplomb. This was perhaps one of the most intimate sets I have been to, the band were even provided with chips by one of the punters.

After this Mr. Shedload Records himself a.k.a. Mick took us lucky lot to the vintage bus which would take us to the next venue. That was a great, but bloody cold, journey on which I was able to chat with quite a few more Apollo Junction fans. The second venue was the Bridge Inn at Kirkstall for another acoustic set, this one focussed on the new album ‘All In’ and many of the, so far, seven singles released from the album were included. Along with another take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Jamie did his usual wander in the crowd while still singing, which is always something special. The venue was incredible a huge double teepee at the back of the pub exclusively for us. There were fires too and once again a really intimate set.

Then it was back on the bus for a shorter trip, just down the road to Kirkstall Brewery in Leeds. I hope I heard it right, but I think they have produced an Apollo Junction beer. This was the largest venue of the three and was the setting for a full-on electric set. The band was firing on all cylinders and finished the day with a stunning, entertaining, emotional set. This is a band that gets better all the time. A great bunch of lads, ace musicians, and oh boy do they know their audience. This closing set was very special indeed and if I had to pick a highlight it was the storming and emotional “Are You Happy” a great singalong anthem and possibly my current Apollo Junction favourite. “Light Up The Sky” was electrifying as well. This was to be my final gig of the year and if I count each set individually then I have seen this band four times in 2021! I reckon this bus and pub tour should become an annual thing, how about it lads?

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‘All In’ – Apollo Junction November 11, 2021


For so many bands the sophomore album is often difficult, patchy and never lives up to the promise of their breakthrough release. However Apollo Junction smash that theory into a centillion pieces. This is an outstanding album and if it doesn’t feature in all of those best album of 2021 lists in the next few weeks I will be very surprised and incredibly disappointed. Seven of the eleven tracks (twelve tracks on the vinyl release) have been released as singles which might suggest that the remaining five tracks might be pure filler, but they most certainly are not, every song here is an absolute masterpiece. Apollo Junction certainly know and appreciate their rock history and they have what might be described as a dark glam sound, which not many other bands can match. It is clear that Jamie, Matt, Jonathan, Ben and Sam have used this awful Covid driven 18 months really well. I loved their first album, ‘Mystery’ from 2019, but frankly while that was a very good album, ‘All In’ is a truly great album that we will still be listening to in many years.

Photo by Steve Riding

The album kicks off with “Light Up The Sky” and that is what this full on glam stomper does in a way that is unmatched even by the most explosive and expensive fireworks. The initial 20 second orchestral overture lulls you into a relaxed sense and then those massive drums kick in. It has some proper tasty funky metal overtones and elements of their signature electro sound. This song epitomises that dark glam description I gave in the opening paragraph and after a few listens to the album this is probably my favourite track, but only just. Slightly more in a Depeche Mode meets the Human League vibe is “Porcelain” which has anthem written all over it. In your face rocker “Two Car Family” hits you next and it is another thunderous banger of a tune. A thumping thumping, infectious glam rock beat that Don Powell would be proud of and some mostly upbeat positive lyrics. If this tune does not make you move then you need an appointment with your doctor. If you need to catch your breath after the last track then “Rooftops” will give you a small, ok tiny, opportunity to do that. Apollo Junction have a knack of producing sublime anthems and “Rooftops” is the kind of track that U2 would kill for. I sensed an Echo and the Bunnymen influence in “On The Ropes” although I think Jamie has a slightly more dynamic and emotional voice than Ian McCulloch. It is hard not to love “When We Grow Up” which is pure Indie Pop Rock at it’s best, with a chorus that Pete Wylie would be proud of. The multi tracked vocals towards the end make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. (Check the video out too, it features a host of Apollo Junction fans, including me)

“Sometimes” is New Order smashing head on into U2 while letting Brandon Flowers into the room as well. The lyrics feel quite deep and personal, but ultimately very positive. The funky, summery guitar opening, courtesy of Matt, of “Unknowns” has hit single written all over it. Matt’s bass is supremely powerful here and the lyrics are very clever. How can you not love this line, “like a dinosaur in the last disco”. “Borderlines” is a staggeringly good fast paced rocker with an 80s Simple Minds feel that you can easily imagine blasting out across festival fields all over the world. It is underpinned by more of that ace glam rock drum sound. This whole album feels like a greatest hits package and next up is “Forever” which I once described as close to being a perfect lockdown anthem. I stand by that description 100%. It is upbeat, has a happy vibe, and a great singalong hook. There is a more acoustic, very slightly slower feel to “Are You Happy” which is a more understated anthem than the preponderance of banging tunes that precede it. The “hidden track”, “Our Goodbye” which I think is only available on the vinyl release has a John Lennon influence in the keyboards, lyrics and vocal phrasing. Earlier Apollo Junction asked “Are You Happy” I can categorically state that I am ecstatic, this is a stunning album and you need to get your hands on it as soon as you can! It is officially released tomorrow, Friday 12th November on Shedload Records.

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“Light Up The Sky” -Apollo Junction April 5, 2021


The Saturn V rocket which launched all the Apollo missions in the 60s and 70s generated 7.6 million pounds (34.5 million newtons) of thrust at launch and it could launch about 130 tons (118,000 kilograms) into Earth orbit. That is heavy and now a band that shares part of their name with those Moon missions is about to release their heaviest single yet! I am talking about the new tune from one of Leeds finest bands, Apollo Junction who unleash their new song “Light Up The Sky” on the world this coming Friday, 9th April. It is a full on glam stomper with funky metal overtones, however they still maintain their signature electro sound within it too. On the evidence of this and all the singles released since their 2019 debut album ‘Mystery’ they will certainly overcome that “difficult second album” conundrum. Album number two, will, I suspect be even better than the first. “Light Up The Sky” has almost immediately become my favourite Apollo Junction tune!

The band describe “Light Up The Sky” as “an anthem about the need for togetherness in darker times. It’s the song
that we have aimed to write since the day we formed Apollo Junction and is a great representation of the big sound of our second album”
. Well I agree that it is anthemic and not just a big sound, but a monumentally huge sound. As we slowly move out of the dark cloud of Covid there are an increasing number of chances to see the boys play live in 2021, including Carfest North and Carfest South, Bingley Weekender, Isle Of Wight Festival and supporting the Kaiser Chiefs at the Halifax Piece Hall to name just a few. If this band is not stratospherically successful in the next few years I might have to eat my hat! Get them in your life now! When the single is issued later this week I will add a few links for you to get it into your ears! Click here to check out some of their other great tunes on Spotify!

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“Borderlines” – Apollo Junction September 11, 2020


Just like their football heroes Leeds United, Apollo Junction are now in the premier league, the music premier league. After last years great album, ‘Mystery’ each new release just gets better and better. “Borderlines” is fast paced rocker with an 80s U2 vibe that makes you want to move. It is underpinned by a real glam rock drum sound and there is a sublime guitar solo from Matt Wilson which is absolutely to die for. It is accompanied by an atmospheric monochrome video featuring the band and a dancer. Something tells me that after this years previous two singles “Forever” and “Sometimes” and now “Borderlines” the new album will be epic!

Click here to listen to yet another classy tune from Apollo Junction! The video is out tomorrow, I will edit this post to add the link soon!

UPDATE, just a tad late from me, but you can now find the amazing “Borderlines” video below!

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“Sometimes” – Apollo Junction June 18, 2020


Those talented lads of Apollo Junction are about to brighten our musical worlds once again with their new single “Sometimes”. It really is a cracking new song. Sonically it has a feel of U2 and speaking to the band last week they told me they were aiming for a kind of U2 meets New Order vibe, well they have nailed that vibe totally. The lyrics also seem quite deep and personal, but ultimately very positive. The song has a chorus that would compete well with any of the best tunes from the Killers. It has rock, pop and banging hooks. After “Forever” and now this it seems clear that the next Apollo Junction album will be bloody brilliant. No pressure lads!

A long wait, but almost certainly worth it!

I love the video produced and directed by Matthew Walsh and starring Millie Gaston who displays a huge range of emotions. It is so hard to be different with videos these days, but the emotional simplicity in this one grabbed me immediately. Plus you get to see the lyrics too. These boys get better with each release.

Click here to listen to the song on Spotify and check out the excellent video below.

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“Forever” – Apollo Junction May 6, 2020


Those delightful and extremely talented chaps known collectively as Apollo Junction released a new single a couple of weeks ago. It is called “Forever” and it is the first single to be taken from their yet to be released second album. It is close to being a perfect lockdown anthem. It is upbeat, has a happy vibe, and a great singalong hook. I dare you to listen to it and not end up with a smile or singing along. If you do manage to frown and not sing along with this fabulous tune then you probably need to seek help. “Forever” is another leap forward for the band after the success of their first album ‘Mystery’ released at the end of last year.

The song evokes the best of 80s and 90s pop-rock and the kind of songs that many of the best British bands used tow write with ease in their prime; the Kinks, Small Faces, Oasis, Blur, and many more. I love the jangly indie guitars and a bass line that James Jamerson would have been proud of. The song is accompanied by a great video filmed by videographers Yorkshire Folk prior to lockdown. The film features drone footage of many Leeds’ landmarks such as Kirkstall Abbey, Roundhay Park, Headingley Stadium, and obviously, Elland Road. Put Apollo Junction on your list of gigs to see post lockdown, you will not regret it, you may even see me there! Jamie, Matt, Ben, Jonathan and Sam, I will see you on the other side of this!

The pictures were found via Google if one of them is yours and you would like it removed or would like a credit please let me know.

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