Fight Like Apes fizzed into our hearts back in 2008 with their bubbly debut album Fight Like Apes and The Mystery of The Golden Medallion and continued to make us laugh, swoon and jump around our bedrooms with glorious technicolor indie pop through two more LPs, 2010’s The Body of Christ and The Legs of Tina Turner and a self-titled album in 2015 before calling it a day the following year.
Seven years on they’ve got the itch back for live performance and will be reuniting for two live shows later this month – a St Patrick’s Day gig at The Garage in London on the 17th and a home town show at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin on the 24th, which sold out within 24 hours of tickets going onsale. And the good news for FLApes fans doesn’t end their as their magnificent self-titled third album is getting a well-deserved reissue through peerless indie imprint Alcopop! Records, including its first ever vinyl pressing. Packed with sparkling sad bangers, indie disco dancefloor fillers and moments of pure synth pop indulgence, it’ll put a smile back on the face of all who’ve missed them as well as being a great introduction point for the uninitiated.
We caught up with singer MayKay to look back at the year of the record’s original release and find out more about the reissue and reunion shows.
How did the reissue and reunion come about?
Jamie and I started feeling extremely lame for reminiscing so much about gigging together. It was like we’d become fans of this old band that we happened to actually be in. So once we got the ball rolling on a Dublin show and reissue of our first record we got talking to Jack (Alcopop) about it and the reminiscing got the better of us all so next thing you now we’re re-releasing the 3rd record and playing London on Paddy’s Day!
How did it feel revisiting the album and looking back at pictures, reviews and footage from that time?
God we played a lot of bad shows. And we favour the black & white & blurry photos. It’s deadly listening back to albums now just as things that can’t be changed and things that can’t change anything for us. Having the 3rd record we put out with Alcopop in vinyl is very cool. Never thought we’d see it.
Looking back at the album’s original release in 2015, where do you think it fitted into the music scene of the time and what about it has meant it’s been able to stand the test of time well enough to warrant a reissue?
To be honest with you we weren’t usually extremely in touch with the charts of the time at all but ‘rock’ bands were still headlining Reading and Glastonbury so we always fitted in very well in the UK scene, right outside the charts (Unfortunately for Alcopop!) and the band split up shortly after album 3 so I’m only getting to see now if it really has stood the test of time. I’ll know in April and get back to you.
Were there any bands back then that were on a similar wavelength to you or that you felt a sort of kinship with?
We used to fucking love bumping into Johnny Foreigner at festivals. They were the best band and people. Same also for Los Campesinos!, Pulled Apart by Horses, Fever Fever and loads more. We had some incredible summers on the same circuit as acts like that.
Thinking of the musical landscape into which the album is being reissued, what has changed since its original release?
I was say just basically everything. But I think the type of music we were making is in the mainstream way more so now, which is very cool. I wonder what would happen if we were starting out right now.
Who are the current bands that you admire? Are there any in whom you can hear or feel a similar spirit to what you were trying to achieve with this album?
How are you feeling about returning to playing live together?
Like in theory it should just be awesome immediately. That’s what I’m going with. There’s a chemistry there that Jamie and I have had since day 1 and we’re guessing it’s still there.
What have you all got going on at the moment/coming up soon?
Jamie fixes people heads and hearts and pianos and he also writes very cool Italo music under the name Love command 0.
I did vocals for the score of a new Alibi series from the makers of Line of Duty called The Diplomat, an awesome show that my great pal Kormac has scored. I’m still presenting the beautiful music show Other Voices with Annie Mac and Huw Stephens, set in Dingle, Co Kerry.
We asked MayKay to share a playlist of songs from 2015 and the current moment – scroll down for the tunes.
Wolf Alice – Moaning Lisa Smile: Just perfection. one of the best bands on the planet
alt-j – Every Other Freckle: I would so unbearably delighted with myself if I wrote this. The BVs are 10/10, no notes weird and wonderful perfect.
Foals – Mountain at My Gates: Any band that makes men kind of hug each other with joy half way through is a-ok with me.
Cage the Elephant – Cigarette Daydreams: Saw them at Other Voices in Austin years ago and they were as awesome acoustic as they were full band.
Beck – Dreams: Yes yes yes I know, not his best work. But I love him anyway.
Thumper – The Loser: They’re supporting us for our show in Dublin and they’re one of my favourite bands ever. If they’re ever playing near you you can not miss them.
Sprints – Literary Mind: All the stuff I like put in a blender and spewed out by the awesome Carla.
Kojey Radical – War Outside: What an incredible artist. This tune is so simple and says so much. Kojey is a prophet.
Lankum – Go Dig My Grave: Lankum are either from way in the past or way in the future or a mixture of both. Absolutely mind blowing. This tune is next level.
Biig Piig – Kerosene: One of the best performers in the business. We love reminding people she’s Irish.
Fight Like Apes is reissued on vinyl, CD and digital download via Alcopop! Records on 17th March – pre-order here
Fight Like Apes return for two live shows in March:
17/03/2023 – London, Garage – tickets
24/03/2023 – Dublin, Olympia Theatre (Sold Out)
Article by Paul Maps