The call of the Naked Apes’ guitars, drums and microphones can be heard across the urban jungle, belting out their versions of indie rock and roll classics across the North West and they are heading for you.
The Naked Apes, have just played Liverpool’s Matthew Street festival, have taken the city by storm and are now branching out.
Paul Hutchinson, lead vocalist for the band tells us The Naked Apes’ evolutionary story.
The band is made up of lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist Paul Hutchinson, guitarist Peter Peacock, bass player Dave Bair and drummer Chris Heywood.
“We all love playing music, experimenting with songs, see which songs fit and which don’t, and getting out there. There is nothing like playing live and there is nothing like the escapism it gives you,” says Paul, “I just wish we could do it more often.”
The band have played many venues since their first gig at Stamps in Crosby Village and their roots at an open mic night in Huyton Conservative Club, where they would “get up and have a go”.
“We formed about two years ago now with a slightly different line up. I joined through Dave when the band was basically formed. The original idea was Pete and the original singer, Damon Polak’s, who wanted to see how far they could go with a pub band.
“Damon left due to other commitments and after searching for a while, (it’s surprisingly hard to find a singer) we gave up and I took over. Before that I played acoustic guitar and backing vocals.”
The apes’ music style is drawn toward indie rock and roll, a popular genre and tough crowd of traditionally cool people to please.
“We try and please pub crowds generally, maybe a younger audience than most. We try to balance a fine line between songs we like and songs that will go down well in a venue.
“One time we spent weeks perfecting a Radiohead song only for it to bomb in a pub. Although we give songs a few chances before we bin them.”
Paul names his inspirations as The Beatles, The Killers, Damien Rice, and Jeff Buckley amongst others.
“Most of these are probably due to listening to them as a child. The other guys have a very wide range of musical influences, very diverse and not the same as me including jazz and much heavier stuff.”
“This can be both a blessing and a curse as people bring their ideas into the studio!”
It is not just the massive venues that the band love to play, a few of their smaller gigs have a place close to Paul’s heart.
“I have two great memories so far of playing in this band. One is of a rainy night in Crosby when Stamps was full up to the rafters. It was an amazing night, the atmosphere was electric.
“The other highlight I have is playing at The Matthew Street Festival last year. We played two nights at The First National and it was simply the best weekend, for music in general, anywhere in the world in my opinion.”
The bands main hopes are to hit the big stages in the centre of Liverpool with regular performances.
“We have been playing in Liverpool Centre for about a year and a half now, The Slaughter House and The First National are our regular spots.
“I think, as a pub band, we could be happy once we get regular spots at the Matthew Street pubs (Flannigans, The Cavern Pub, etc) and the big venues in Birkenhead. But, from there, who knows.
“There are talented guys in the band and we could head in any direction once we’ve succeeded at that.”
The band are well aware of the struggle that up-and-coming artists face trying to become established.
“Unfortunately, we all work to supplement the band. I wish I could do it full time but the money just isn’t there and gigs get cancelled with no warning.
“You would have to play good paying gigs most nights if you wanted to give up your day job.
“My advice… Its hard to do when your working full time so do it young and if not, be prepared to have a second job which will be your music. Although, I am sure you will get far more pleasure from your musical job than your day job.
“It’s also very hard to get your foot in the door at some venues, so keep knocking. We still try to get a name for ourselves, its reputation that gets the crowds in.”
Listen to the band and find the latest The Naked Apes gigs at http://www.myspace.com/thenakedapesliverpool.