Athlete@The Apple Store, Regent Street 18.10.05
Mercury Prize-nominated Deptford act, Athlete, wowed the crowd at their 'Live From London' Apple Store gig on October 18.
Five tracks recorded live during the band's compelling and intimate live performance will be released exclusively through iTunes Music Store on October 25.
It's weird to play in a shop, but with an estimated 450 Athlete-ists in the crowd, the band weren't in shock - roguishly encouraging their fans to "pocket an iPod", generating a massive cheer.
Within moments of climbing onstage, the band transformed Apple's hi-tech pleasure-palace into an incredibly intimate setting for a remarkable performance. It was like watching them perform in your friend's front-room. A very large front-room, but a special place to be for 45 mesmerizing minutes.
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Athlete Review continues:
Athlete lead singer Joel Pott delivered a masterful set - but it's clear these guys are a unit, each bringing the best out of each other. Band bassist Carey Willett ("he's pretty good on guitar too!", said Pott) delivered at every level, exuding charisma as he blasted out some of the spectral harmonies that help define the band's sound during Wires. He was exceptional in that track.
Carey played the entire US tour with a dislocated shoulder, said Joel, adding: "But we didn't find out until we got back home". A rueful Carey just smiled and nodded. The band delivered songs from 'Tourist' and 'Vehicles And Animals'. They also offered a brand new song - 'Stand In The Sun', which they have been working on during their US tour.
Throughout the performance, drummer Stephen Roberts played maraccas, a tambourine and a PowerBook, but every track counted during the scintillating set. Every song was a peach - here's the complete set-list:
Yesterday Threw Everything At Me
Stand In the Sun
Twenty-Four Hours (twice).
The band played Twenty-Four Hours twice, because Tim Wanstall managed to misunderstand a chord sequence. It didn't matter. The friendly foursome decided to play the tune again, much to the delight of their fans.
They didn't forget their fans, either. Bands play upstairs at Apple Store gigs, but there's never enough space for everyone, so downstairs gig-goers watch the act on huge screens the company supplies. Aware of this, Joel apologised to his fans there, saying: "We can feel you are here", adding, "at least it didn't cost you anything."
When the band climbed the stage, Joel got the audience going with a shouting competition between the two floors. The bottom floor won, fair and square, and could be heard singing along throught the powerful performance.
Looking around at music fans gathered upstairs, it was quite clear why this talented band could end up becoming bigger than Coldplay. Everyone was completely wrapped-up in the performance, if people weren't singing along, they were simply staring with jaw-dropped fascination, or sitting back enjoying it, with eyes closed and smiles on their faces.
Huge applause thanked the amazing performance. I must confess I hadn't seen them before, but liked Wires. Now I've bought the albums, written a review and cannot wait until Apple releases the live tracks next week.
Athlete. Dream high, reach higher. Utterly recommended.
Come back later this week, when we plan to make a mini video review of Athlete available here. This will contain words, the image gallery, some video clips and as much audio as we can legally publish. We also plan to release this mini-mag in a format you can watch on your computer using iTunes, or carry with you on one of the new video iPods.
Images by Lisa Rocket. Words Jonny Rocket.
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