Anglo Americans Beaux Gris Gris (pronounced \ˈbō\ \ˈgrē-(ˌ)grē\ ) & The Apocalypse returned to the Tuesday Night Music Club following a very well received debut appearance in 2018. The Tuesday Night Music Club is a regular event held at The Comrades Club in Coulsdon.
This extremely entertaining collective is a New Orleans-inspired, American blues-folk-soul band created by Louisiana-born and -raised musician Greta Valenti (Well Hung Heart) and UK British Blues Hall of Fame inductee Robin Davey (The Hoax, DVL, Well Hung Heart). They’re joined by Mark Barrett (The Hoax) on drums, Irish-American singer-songwriter Ali Coyle on bass, Emma Jonson (an award-winning singer songwriter from Birmingham, UK) on keyboards, and Stephen Mildwater on keyboards and guitar.
Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse took their first breath in 2017 when Robin informed Greta that he wanted to start a blues project. She was happy to entertain this idea, just as long as it was in a Louisiana style.
With the exception of one new song and three well-chosen covers, the two one-hour sets in the main was drawn from the band’s debut album Love & Murder. The excellent Heart Breaker was perfect to immediately whet the appetite and present Greta’s vocal range to the Tuesday night audience. With her bright red dress and blue hair, Greta was certainly the centre of attention but Robin (with red fedora, leather jacket, and tweed trousers) wasn’t going to go unnoticed.
Three more Love & Murder tracks – Cyclone, Thrill Me, and Baby Baby – followed in quick succession. Cyclone had a happy fairground Louisiana reggae vibe (if there is such a thing) but was very addictive nonetheless. Thrill Me lead in with a nice bass line from Ali, who later contributed a stunning vocal part, and also saw Robin testing his new wireless system by going walkabout with his Music Man St. Vincent signature guitar. Greta’s vocal really shone throughout Baby Baby and was certainly one of the stand out numbers on the night, with Emma complementing the vocal with some beautiful keyboards.
The Tuesday Night Music Club is somewhat unique as it has three house rules: no idle chit-chat during a performance as this is disrespectful to both artist and audience, make full use of the cheap bar, and spend some hard-earned cash at the merch desk. The audience certainly heeded to all three and certainly took advantage during the break to lay their hands on a copy of Love & Murder, which is now also available on red vinyl to match Greta’s dress.
The second set got straight back into the groove as Robin lead us into Louisiana Good Ride, another from the debut release. When My Baby Was Rich followed and this was classic blues in a Louisiana style.
Feeling confident at this stage, as they should, Greta decided to risk falling on her sword and took a chance with a new song. Topical in view of the political climate on either side of the Atlantic, Watching The World Fall Down resulted in no blood being shed as it went down a treat.
Next up one of the chosen covers, Make It Wit Chu by Queens Of The Stone Age, may well have been written for this band. Greta was clearly at ease with the Josh Homme vocals, while Robin (who played bass in Hoax) showed off just how impressive he is as a lead guitarist.
Another song which captures the current political climate is the anthem like Don’t Let The Bastards Drag You Down, which encouraged a little audience participation.
A very different band who refuse to be pigeon-holed, Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse signed off with another cover, again a very interesting choice that sat comfortably with them: 4 Non Blondes anthem What’s Up.
Photography and Words of Beau Gris Gris & The Apocalypse at The Tuesday Night Music Club, Coulsdon, Surrey on 20th August 2019 by Phil Honley. Phil has his own photography site here: http://www.gigsnapz.co.uk.