James Apollo - The Caves, Edinburgh, Tue 6 Oct (5 stars)

James Apollo - The Caves, Edinburgh, Tue 6 Oct

Some people might say that rock’n’roll isn’t all about having great hair. But these people are fools! James Apollo has a truly spectacular quiff and a rockabilly sound of equally high calibre that both get an awe-inspiring showcasing in the appropriately atmospheric Caves. Or as he hollers: ‘The acoustics in this club are amazing!’ They sure are, and he and his band fill the room with irresistible unadulterated Americana.

And it’s the real McCoy: Apollo himself apparently celebrated his 16th birthday by leaving home in Arkansas and ending up in San Francisco then NYC, later getting thrown 20ft of his motorbike and taking six months to fully recover which, he says, is the best thing to happen to him.

Onstage he is restless charisma personified, with a cracking dry wit and vocals that could both stop bullets but also bring a gentle sadness on a cover of ‘Dark End of the Street’.

He rounds up saying: ‘It’s been a real fine time. Let’s go out on a high note.’ And sure enough every note in this set is as high as his artfully-coiffured hairdo.


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