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Live: The Monkees @ The Apollo

Live: The Monkees @ The Apollo

The 1960s music/TV phenomenon is back in town. Now reduced to just two members – Mickey Dolenz and Peter TorkThe Monkees are introduced by a series of video clips on a huge screen overhanging the stage of the Apollo.

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Opening up with Last Train To Clarksville, the pair and their five-strong backing band kick off with a winning first gambit for their audience of still loyal fans. Dolenz and Tork clown around and engage in charming and self-depreciating banter right from the start. It’s a relief that they’re as much fun now and in ‘real life’ as their characters appeared to be in the TV series.

The set is split into two parts, with the first including tracks such as The Girl I Knew Somewhere, Words and Mary,Mary. There are a number of references to former bandmate Mike Nesmith’s songwriting skills and rarer mentions of the fourth Monkee, Davy Jones, who passed away in 2012.

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Dolenz introduces Alternate Title with an explanation of its origins, telling us the song was written after a party thrown by The Beatles for The Monkees. The original title – Randy Scouse Git – was deemed too offensive by their record company, hence the incongruously bland alternative title for what is quite an admirably shouty song.

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Part two of the evening begins with a section devoted to some more stripped down, acoustic versions of familar numbers, before the long-awaited slide into the big classics.

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone, Pleasant Valley Sunday and I’m A Believer finish off the night with the audience dancing (after a mostly reverently seated show) and a rush of golden feel good factor.

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Monkees at Eventim Apollo in London on 4 September 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Monkees still pull off a truly entertaining performance – partly due to some very catchy songs and partly due to their humour and showmanship. Definitely an enjoyable revisitation of some good pop music. And an excuse not to grow up.

Photos and words by Imelda Michalczyk. Imelda has her own great website here: www.rebeladelica.com

The Monkees @ Eventim Apollo 4th September 2015

About The Author

Imelda

I'm a photographer and writer with a passion for live music. I've been dancing wildly at gigs for as long as I can remember and since the beginning of 2008 I've been taking photographs and writing about gigs, too. My photographs have been featured in a diverse range of places – I started out shooting for punk fanzines and local newspapers and then had my work featured in CD/promotional artwork for bands and in music magazines and national newspapers. I also shoot for top London music agency Retna/Photoshot. Outside of music photography/writing, I'm learning to perform tribal fusion belly dance and to speak French. Not usually at the same time. I'm also still looking for the meaning of life (but I hear that's a slow burn). I've lived in London for quite a few years, mainly because of the wonderful range of live music here and because there are lots of artists I still wish to see through my camera lens...

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