November 16th, 2016
Reviewed by Rob Harrison
“Do you get many folk bands here?,” quips one of the singers from the group Applewood Road, surveying the crash barriers that surround the stage. “We could stage dive here”she suggests.
“Maybe naked,” suggests a member of the audience, Applewood Road would appear to be not just another folk band.
The songs are full of women’s desire, all about loving guys who are a bit disreputable and maybe a little bit wayward. Songs about losers in love, but what the heck, better to have loved than not loved at al,l seems to be the philosophy here.
The songs are seen through the perspective of post punk feminism. Maybe this is punk country ( maybe punk-ry ), but if you listen it’s a beautiful tapestry of voices and intertwining guitars coming together.
And there is a strong retro feel to the music – the close harmonies could be from a band around the 1940s.
The girls, Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth and Amy Spence, all met in Nashville, found they shared a love of ole country music, and recorded the song Applewood Road hence the name.
They have since recorded an album of original material at Nashville’s All Analog Studio, welcome to 1979. Not ones to cut corners they went on to cut and master it in London at specialist analog pressing plant Gearbox Records.
This attention to detail finds itself on stage, where one of the girls asks the sound engineer to turn the monitors off so it can sound like a campfire song to make the performance more intimate. She achieves her aim as the performance is listened to in hushed silence.
Applewood Road manage to reduce the space at the Academy to be like a group of friends singing and entertaining each other, and in turn make it a magical evening.