APRE at Hyde Park Book Club: A Review

By Jessica Fynn

Photography by Jessica Fynn

On a miserable Wednesday evening, Hyde Park Book Club – a well-known (and well-loved),

intimate drinking spot in Leeds – welcomed unassuming Indie-duo APRE (Charlie Brown

and Jules Konieczny) onto their basement stage. One of a string of city shows on their first

headline tour, frontman Charlie introduced himself and his band with confidence and

appreciation that can only be attributed to his new title as headliner, rather than modest

support act. “We’re not sidemen today” he proudly announced, amid cheers and the rising

bassline of their new release, “Your Heart’s Like A Jungle”.


APRE had taken to the stage with the kind of casual confidence that looked to an audience as if they were finally coming home, slipping his shoes off on the front mat, and settling onto

the sofa for the night ahead, beer in hand. With the grace and passion of all new bands prior

to their big break, frontman Charlie was able to strike a delicate balance between stage

performer and human being, addressing the crowd between songs. His transition from

unassuming drummer to assertive stage-presence is one that has positively reshaped their

image. Soon after playing the hazy, lo-fi synth tune “Everybody Loves You,” a title off of

their 2018 record, Drum Machines Killed Music, he found the crowd hushed enough to ask:


“So where’s the merch?…Oh yeah, over there. Such a big room I couldn’t see it.”


True, the capacity of the venue could hold no more than a half-filled lecture hall, but in such

an intimate space, APRE were able to show that they had more to offer than quick wit and a

sense of humour. With the authenticity of all bedroom musicians, the duo sought to make a

true connection with their fans. Spurred on by mid-set momentum, Charlie headed through

the crowd, microphone wire trailing. He held his own with warm control, dancing with the

audience and seeming truly honoured that his own lyrics were being mouthed back to him.

This sense of pride and achievement reemerged towards the end of the set, where he

dedicated popular track “Come Down” to FIFA 20. And it seems well deserved: in the history of modern music, making it onto the FIFA 20 soundtrack is a sure sign of Indie

success.

An audience should know to approach an unheard artist with little expectation, and APRE appear to do the same at each new show they play. APRE are refreshing because they are a band that aren’t trying to prove anything. Following their progress of their first UK headline tour, they’ve seemed to approach each city with a little more confidence, and a lot more

momentum. In a crowded Indie-scene, APRE have held onto their authenticity, keeping it in

their back pockets and pushing forward even with a band name that is strangely difficult to

pronounce. By now, I’ve heard at least four different variants, but this is as good an

indication as any, that APRE are being talked about.

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