Monday, May 20, 2024

Beaux Gris Gris and the Apocalypse turn up the Hot Nostalgia Radio

Beaux Gris Gris and the Apocalypse (do not pronounce the ’s’ or Greta will get you!… it’s Gree Gree) are built around the partnership of Robin Davey and Greta Valenti. Formed around 2010, they are always worth a listen and to ‘get’ this imaginative pair, I mean you really have to listen. If you aren’t aware of the band, you have heard Robin: he was the driving force behind The Hoax (and wrote the brilliant track, Bones, covered wonderfully by Joanne Shaw Taylor on her White Sugar album); he was at the forefront of The Bastard Fairies (check out Memento Mori) and, with Greta, was behind yet another playful titled band, Well Hung Heart. The pair are also acclaimed film/video creators via their Grow Vision studio.

Their last album, Good Times, End Times, was a tour de force that happily transcended blues, pop, rock and jazz as the band’s diverse influences coalesced joyfully and cohesively. I am more than happy to say their latest release, called Hot Nostalgia Radio, achieves the same high standard with yet more immaculate blending of genres to deliver fourteen ingenious tracks.

Take opener, ‘Oh Yeah!’ which manages to “out-Quo” the Quo with a short sharp, slightly pop, rock masterpiece. ‘Wild Woman’ slows the pace and increases the blues and rock quotient, and with that riff and Greta’s vocals, it is simply excellent. ‘Middle of the Night’ is blues, pop, jazz and rock all rolled up in a heady, catchy and, with that guitar solo it all makes for an irresistible song.

Soul and funk enter the fray on ‘Sad When I’m Dancing’ and 60s soul flavours the heartbreaker that is ‘All I Could Do Was Cry’, Sliding into your heart is the gentle, lovely ‘Harder to Breathe’; the rolling intro of ‘Don’t Let Go’ will remind you of a certain song, but is way more complex and rewarding; the Zydeco blues of ‘Let’s Ride’  and closer ‘Mama Cray’ keep the variations flowing.

OK, so it’s not heavy rock or metal, instead it’s a heady melange of rock, blues, pop, jazz and invention, so if you want standardised or ‘pure’ versions of those genres, it won’t be found here. However, you’ll be depriving yourself of a refreshing take on any and all of them, on an album packed with thoroughly enjoyable songs of disarming and simply complex songs of quality.

Hot Nostalgia Radio is out now!

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Beaux Gris Gris and the Apocalypse (do not pronounce the ’s’ or Greta will get you!… it’s Gree Gree) are built around the partnership of Robin Davey and Greta Valenti. Formed around 2010, they are always worth a listen and to ‘get’ this imaginative...Beaux Gris Gris and the Apocalypse turn up the Hot Nostalgia Radio