London King’s Cross Scala

The supersonic boom should hit you in a few seconds....

The supersonic boom should hit you in a few seconds. Ah yeah, there it is, riding on a juddering shockwave of bass, shaking past vicious guitar barks, rattling through the chests of this hyperactive crowd. It’s what happens when [a]Apollo 440[/a] reach the speed of sound and then – propelled by the driving beats of their two drummers – accelerate. It’s quite a ride.

Only it’s a Disneyland, film tie-in, hi-tech hydraulic amusement park ride, and little of what you see or feel is real. You stagger outside and realise you never left the ground at all, and that stomach-pummelling, adrenaline-detonating rush you experienced was all an illusion. Because despite the FX roar and the pounding piston breaks, too much tonight seems dispiritingly MTV fake.

It’s testament to the wide-eyed charisma of frontman – and former Gaye Biker On Acid – [a]Mary Mary[/a] that he can still just about convince you that you’re flying for real, as he bounces and jigs and works the crowd. But he never fully engages, because he’s saying nothing of any value, just, [I]”You can’t stop the rock!”[/I], [I]”Don’t get high on your own supply!”[/I] and, [I]”Cold rock the mic!”[/I] – post-rap buzzwords that burst like bubbles in the cold, corporate space he inhabits. We’d call it Beasties-lite, but it’s not dumb enough, Limp Bizkit-esque, but it’s too calculated. Ultimately, [a]Apollo 440[/a] – like Propellerheads – are a big-beat leftover, a sellable concept rather than a proper band.

But who cares if they’re not 4 Real, right? [a]Apollo 440[/a] RAWK and it’s all a LARF and we’re only here for the one from [I]Lost In Space[/I] anyway. Maybe that’s true, but essentially they’re just like any other roller-coaster ride: momentarily thrilling, ultimately nauseating.

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