In a Different Place – The Bullingdon December 2023 – Nightshift Magazine
It’s quickly beaten by the one for DEADBEAT APOSTLES. If anyone else took to the stage dressed in a sequined snakeskin suit and sailor’s cap we’d think they were showing off, but it’s Mike Ginger’s everyday attire as far as we can see, and he – along with vocal partner Michelle Mayes – live up to their visual side with interest, kicking off with the band’s phenomenal tour de force ‘In Spite of It All’ before careering through T-Rex boogie, Isaac Hayes funk and towering gospel soul with the spirit of Harlem truly burning within them.
The Deadbeat Apostles Album Review December 2023 – Oxfordshire Music Magazine
The new album from the local blues rockers showcases what anyone who has seen them play live over the last few years would expect. The album kicks off by fully rocking out via ‘The Cuffs are Off’ and is soon followed by ‘The Deadbeat Shuffle’ before slowing down into the bluesy introspective feel of ‘Wheel of Fortune’. After a successful album launch in late October at The Handle Bar it’s great that the full album is now available for everyone to hear. I’m also appreciating the album cover – great effort and you can clearly see some options for unique DBA merchandise. ‘Viva La Evolution’ bring back the rock n roll and could be straight off any new Rolling Stones album. The album has so many influences, but that doesn’t make it a complicated or messy affair. ‘In Spite of All’ sees the combined vocals of Michael and Michelle take centre stage. They are clearly having a row with each other, all played out in a rather dramatic rocky style. ‘All that Glitters’ gets all bluesy again and this is where G-Bombs’ guitars really shine. This track reminds me of Gary Moore, it’s got heart and a great pop hook. The closing track is all hands in the air, phone – torches – out style as it builds and builds like a Spiritualized track. All in all, a cracking album that should grace anyone’s record collection. I’ve put the ring on my Christmas list. (KR)
The Deadbeat Apostles Album Review November 2023 – Nightshift Magazine
“The Deadbeat Apostles have long been proof that you can make old-fashioned music and still sound contemporary; that you can layer on several layers of cheese and still sound authentic, and that the only thing better than having a great singer in your band is having two. ‘The Deadbeat Apostle’ is the band’s debut album proper after a series of singles over the last few years; the album is for the most part those singles gathered together, re-recorded and remastered and thus serves as the perfect introduction to the band for those who’ve yet to experience the band as much as an essential compendium for converts. ‘The Cuffs Are Off’, written during lockdown, shows The Deadbeats are as up for the fight as they are the party, its funky blues and Mike Ginger’s full-blooded vocals, given a wonderful streak of silver by Michelle Mayes’ backing, taking aim at the powers that be, though it’s Michelle’s ‘Leave It To Men’ that really ramps up the militancy, a buzzing, punk-infused garage-blues grenade that packs a serious punk punch with its call-and-response vocals and Dead Kennedys-meets Jim Jones vibe. The raucous boogie of ‘Viva la Evolution’ is similarly driven at full throttle, and it’s ‘In Spite Of It All’ that is the quintet’s pièce de résistance – an epic slab of sexy soul music and the best example of Mike and Michelle’s natural vocal chemistry. Of the three brand new tracks featured, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is slightly overwrought, right down to its epically cheesy guitar solo, but ‘All That Glitters’ sounds like a classic Motown love anthem, not far off The Four Tops, with Mike showing just how powerful he can sound even while reining it in while ‘I’ll Remember You’ is a proper belter of a soul power ballad. The whole album is steeped in classic 60s and 70s r’n’b, soul and bluesrock but is possessed of a very modern vim and vigour, and this album provides a succinct and essential introduction to one of the most fun bands in Oxford right now.” Nightshift Magazine November 2023.
In Spite of it All – OMS October 2022
This waltz-time duet has the glamour and glitz of a Bond soundtrack. Its ‘cooler than cool’ steady muted intro is like hearing the soirée from outside before the ballroom doors fly open to a spinning scene of grand disarray. Ginger and Mayes vie to outdo each other with power ballad fire, mystique and panache in this odds-defying, candelabra swinging jaunt. (GN)
In Spite of it All – Nightshift Oct 2022
In which The Deadbeats, armed with two ICBM-strength lead vocals, throw everything and the kitchen sink into a song, stand back for a few moments to admire their work, wander off to listen to ‘Now That’s What I Call A Bluesy Power Ballad’ from start to finish and return to throw everything and the kitchen sink into the song again, including another kitchen sink they borrowed from the neighbours, just for good measure. If you can imagine Joe Cocker attempting to emulate Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra in a blues shack style with Vinegar Joe in tow, you can start to picture what ‘In Spite Of It All’ sounds like. It is epic; it is ballsy; it is all lusty and soulful and drunk on passion. It is fabulously over the top to the point it leaves a slick of hair oil on the ceiling. It’s not until a good half hour after it’s finished that all the other songs in the house feel bold enough to come out from behind the sofa, only to find the floor littered with shards of broken kitchen sinks. As subtle as a brick but just as much fun when there are breakables about. Dale Kattack
Sweet Sweet Love – Live Review – Nightshift July 22
“The Deadbeat Apostles are cool in a very different way. Few people could rock the leopard print shirt, shades and sailor’s cap like Mike Ginger but he manages it effortlessly, even while he and his band are kicking out a cover of ‘Crazy Horses’ by way of a set opener, his voice all gravel, whisky and God. Much is made of how The Deadbeats are blessed with not one but two super singers in Mike and partner Michelle Mayes, but they really are a remarkable team, the chemistry between them turning the band’s Rolling Stones-influences blues-rock into something bigger, more irresistible. New single ‘Sweet Sweet Love’ bases itself on ‘Gimme Shelter’ but run trough the Deadbeat filter it’s something more soulful. Show high point though is recent single and feminist battlecry ‘Leave It To Men’, an (ironically) organ-led slice of 60s-style psych-framed garage-rock that cuts through the air like a musical hacksaw. It’s not parochial partisanship to suggest that The Deadbeat Apostles could decamp to New Orleans tomorrow and still steal the show”. Ian Chesterton
Sweet Sweet Love – OMS
“Sweet, Sweet Love’ – the stellar new single from the Deadbeat Apostles – is yet another masterclass in roots rock from the local legends. Guitarist Garry Richardson channels prime Keith Richards with his joyous, raw and twangy guitar licks which underpin earthy dual vocals. The result is effortlessly cool and brimming with soul – classic Apostles”. (TC)
Sweet Sweet Love – Nightshift June
“After last year’s punked-up blues-rock call to arms that was ‘Leave It To Men’, The Deadbeat Apostles reel it back a few notches on this new single, initially at least. The first 35 seconds or so of ‘Sweet Sweet Love’ are pretty standard funky soul-rock to be honest, Mike Ginger doing his best chilled Van Morrison impersonation as things lope pleasantly along without disturbing the horses, but then he shows the first signs that he’s gonna get wild and raw and really soar and off we go – the band pick up a head of steam, Ginger properly exercises those tonsils and Michelle Mayes goes the full Merry Clayton as the Deadbeats revisit Altamont Stones-style. Even then they tease us by drawing back before we can all get properly carried away and by the time they’ve brought the noise for a third and final time we’re wishing they’d jam it out for another couple of minutes. It’s a song that shows the two chief sides of The Deadbeat Apostles; easy pub crowd pleasers on the one hand, but at heart a band who can let rip and rock with the very best. Obviously Nightshift prefers the latter but at least we know, during those moments when they’re keeping their powder dry, the storm is just a shot away”.
Leave it to Men -OMS
“Leave it to Men – The latest single from local rock powerhouses The Deadbeat Apostles is a high energy commentary on the phenomenon of counterculture and the need of the establishment to silence anybody they don’t agree with. The quality of a Deadbeats track is never in question – they are, perhaps, Oxford’s best-kept secret, and one we need to start sharing with the entire world – but the fact that this serves as probably the best showcase of the usually-underused Michelle Mayes’ vocal talents really helps make this a standout track. Managing to tackle something so serious and pertinent, however, whilst maintaining an upbeat tone and making it so thoroughly danceable is the real achievement of the track – it isn’t just hitting all the right beats socially, it’s hitting the right notes musically. This is almost the perfect protest song for the modern era; Bob Dylan for the TikTok generation. (KS) Oxfordshire Music Scene Magazine December issue 2021
DOTDB15 Live – OMS Mag
“DOTDB15 – Got to the Isis eventually despite the treacherous towpath, led there by the voice of special guest Tiece, warming up for what was an unforgettable night in the Shire. The reason my cod-Saville Row suit arrived unblemished, containing what is left of me in it, is that it’s Day of the Deadbeats 15 – in honour of their new record launching. It’s called Leave it to Men. I have half the Bristol 78s DJ community in my company, co-incidentally run into a local MC, and then step over the threshold of the pub’s front steps and into the word of Tammy Wynette’s worst nightmare. I discover, in a blaze of leopard print, that Deadbeats’ lead singer Mike Ginger has gone Soul Man. Yeah. The MC starts paying attention. The room is jumping. I can’t cope. Mike Ginger is leaping, kneeling, screaming, wailing! He makes you want to buy James Brown Live At The Apollo 1962 for bemused children. Michelle Mayes, cofront person, yells vocals in a manner that remind me of that time I thought they ought to have cast Loretta Lynn in Nightmare on Elm Street. The very best in Oxford rock and roll music. My only criticism is that there weren’t 50,000 people in the room. However, that might have overstretched the bar staff. Every single person who did experience this gig were drunk on music and that, comrades, is the product of rehearsing hard. Ten out of fucking ten. Didn’t even fall in the river on the way back – those 001 drivers know what they are doing”. (BM) Oxfordshire Music Scene Magazine December issue 2021
Leave it to Men – Single Review – Nightshift Magazine December 2021
“THE DEADBEAT APOSTLES ‘Leave It To Men’ (Self released) For a band best known for being the sound of good-time rock’n’roll nights, The Deadbeat Apostles are one of the most politically-charged acts in town (‘The Cuffs Are Off’, released earlier in the year during lockdown found the band at their furious best) and this latest single continues that theme of fighting the power while fighting for the right to party. In particular the Deadbeats have shown their colours when it comes to gender politics and ‘Leave It To Men’ tackles a situation where people, and in particular women, are silenced. As depressingly apt now as ever in a world where male politicians continue to balls up Covid and climate responses while the entertainment industry is only just beginning to come to terms with its exploitative culture. Not that The Deadbeat Apostles are going to sit about complaining about stuff – no, they’re gonna kick those fuckers in the bollocks then have a good old drink and a dance on their corpulent bodies. Here Michelle Mayes takes the lead while covocalist Mike Ginger heads up the chorus line in a full-throttle call-and-response blues-punk charge that’s closer to the spirit of riot grrl than soul revue. This is driving punk-informed blues that’s as raw and ready for a fight as we’ve heard since Jim Jones last went on a rock’n’roll riot. Absolutely mighty stuff. Get down the barricades, boys and girls. And bring wine. Lots”
Single Launch – The Isis Farmhouse -Nightshift Magazine (Dec 21)
The Deadbeat Apostles could never be accused of reinventing the musical wheel but here is a band who know how to launch it down a steep slope and get the drinks in while everyone else in the room makes chase. If anything, the band revel in the traditions and clichés their music is rooted in and re-energise them en route to Having A Good Time. Which ultimately is what The Deadbeats are about, even when they’re singing about stuff that’s very definitely not about Having A Good Time, like new single ‘Leave It To Men’, their most aggressive – lyrically and musically – offering to date, infused with a punk spirit that doesn’t trample too hard on the soulful rock’n’roll that is their stock-in-trade. Musically the band switch the mood up or down at whim and without losing their momentum – from driving blues to a soft shoe shuffle that variously gets on down with or simple pickpockets The Rolling Stones, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, The Velvet Underground, Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin – but it’s in the twin vocals of Mike Ginger and Michelle Mayes they really elevate themselves above and beyond pub band status (albeit wonderfully raucous pub band for the most part, and pubs being their natural home). Both are well-oiled cheerleaders whether harmonising together or taking the lead, even as Michelle spends much of tonight’s set sat down because she’s buggered her back. ‘Viva la Evolution’ is another highpoint of the set, a soulful mugging of ‘Brown Sugar’, and if ‘Deadbeat Shuffle’ is a rare retreat into something too earnest and restrained, they properly bring the party back at the close with covers of Beyonce’s ‘Freedom’ and Lizzo’s ‘Cuz I Love You’, that wheel still gathering pace, the driver drunk in charge and no-one particularly bothered when or where it might crash to a halt. Dale Kattack
Nightshift – March ’21
A full year on from their Nightshift front cover debut – and the last Nightshift before the world locked down – DEADBEAT APOSTLES return with a new single. ‘The Deadbeat Shuffle’ is a proper old bluesy soul smoochathon, proving once again that the band are unfairly blessed with great singers in their ranks. The band are going to be the main guests of BBC INTRODUCING IN OXFORD tomorrow night, talking about their year in exile and their short film ‘On Record’. Listen to the show tomorrow at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p099v5q0 and hear the new single now at https://thedeadbeatapostles.bandcamp.com/…/the-deadbeat… Seriously, the day we’re allowed out to party with the Deadbeats again is going to be something special – expect carnage to make King Kong vs Godzilla look like handbags at dawn.
Isis Farmhouse May ’20
The Deadbeat Apostles –a very special band whose performance is the ultimate ‘pick me up’ with original songs that could have been written by The Rolling Stones on a vacation to Dollywood! These guys have it all and play with the passion, musicality and presence of ‘The King’ in his Vegas years with the same mix of gospel, country, roots and good old rock n roll. Those of us who have been lucky enough to see them ‘do their thing’ know they are too good to keep for ourselves and will soon have to share them with music lovers everywhere!Ms Noreen Cullen – The Isis Farmhouse
Nightshift – April ’20
“Here is a band that likes to go through life with a beer in one hand, good times on their mind and a good slap for any killjoys or rightwing parasites that get in their way.”
Nightshift – April ’20
“Phenomenal chemistry between the two singers. While Michelle is decorative, demonstrative and richly soulful, Mike is earthy, gruff and tender – somewhere between Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. The pair met 25 years ago and have been soulmates in every sense since.”
BBC introducing – BBC Oxford
“Day of the Deadbeats is a way of showcasing local bands, they’re doing such a brilliant thing, I have to say as far as flagbearers for the local music community goes they are right up there at the top. I kinds notice things like that – when bands are collaborating, getting involved, putting on shows together, making friends with each other. I see bands like the Deadbeat Apostles who get really involved, they get happy for their peers when they do well. They like to big them up and help them as well and that is a wonderful thing to watch. I sometimes feel like a proud father.” Dave Gilyeat on Day of the Deadbeats – BBC introducing Oxford on Time Out with Laurie Bailey
Nightshift October 2019
Regularly described in these pages as “where The Grand Ole Oprey meets The Harlem Apollo,” The Deadbeat Apostles have a keen balance of country and soul. If last single, ‘Bigger Man’, showcased the band’s more country side; with this new EP, that soul side comes far more to the fore. And what a rich and fulsome soul it is. With Fender Rhodes taking the lead over the steel guitar, Mike Ginger gives his inner Percy Sledge a good outing, best on ‘Paint a Picture’, smooth yet gravelly, a deliciously rich and earthy voice that benefits from Michelle Mayes’ decorative backing vocals. Maybe less rambunctious than they’re often capable of, much of the EP tends towards the tender, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett the driving forces, some sweet sax lending an almost lounge vibe to the songs, although ‘Wolf Street’ gets some dirt under its fingernails, with the guitar given more rocking rein, the song a punchier r’n’b piece. The highlight here is EP closer ‘Muddy Creek’, a powerful gospel-blues anthem that finds both Ginger and Mayes pushing their voices to greater heights and it’s the pair’s interaction that is what brings The Deadbeat Apostles so fully to life. Few bands have one vocalist with such strength and versatility; that The Deadbeats have two seems a little unfair on everyone else (Dale Attack)
OMS Magazine Sept 2019
Deftly combining bluesy rock ‘n roll vibes with a fresh soul twist, the new EP is a coutured, mellow record. Opener Paint a Picture is as relaxing as it is sophisticated, whilst Silver Lining brings subtle saxophones and neat harmonies. Whilst their sound takes strong influences from American music of the 60s and 70s, the firmly British vocals and crisp production gives it a welcome familiarity. (MP)
BBC Introducing Oxford
“Have you seen The Last Waltz? All the performances on it I just feel are amazing and like the Deadbeat Apostles could have taken the stage that night and gone down a storm. Very much in that sort of genre. The vocals on Paint a Picture sound stunning” Dave Gilyeat – BBC Music Introducing in Oxford
BBC Oxford with Laurie Bailey
“Country soul is just coming right through. The vocals on that song sound stunning .I love that they’ve got such a hard rocking edge but the absolute core is laid back and it does shoot right through to the soul. Their vocals really sore and they’re so on sync it’s pretty special stuff. As flag bearers for the local music community goes they’re right up at the top. I absolutely love these guys”. ‘Paint a Picture’ – New EP ‘Bring out your Deadbeats’
Nightshift September 19
“The Deadbeat Apostles release a new EP this month. The country-soul stars launch ‘Bring Out Your Deadbeats’, featuring singles ‘Paint a Picture’ and ‘Muddy Creek’, with a headline show at The Port Mahon on Saturday 14th September, with support from The August List. Tickets are £5. Next month the band will celebrate their tenth Day of the Deadbeats event with a free show at Tap Social in Botley on Friday, featuring The Deadbeats alongside The Long Insiders and The Ragged Charms
“THE DEADBEAT APOSTLES + THE AUGLIST: The Port Mahon – EP launch gig from the country-soul stars, finding a sweet spot between The Harlem Apollo and the Grand Ole Oprey, The Band and Aretha Franklin, and one of the most reliably entertaining live acts in town. They’re joined by long-time Nightshift faces The August List, bringing dark drone-rock atmospherics into their darkwoods folk and Americana.”
The Deadbeat Apostles EP Launch – with The August List – tickets include free EP – https://www.wegottickets.com/event/480767 and The Day of the Deadbeats 10 at Tap Social Movement
Bring out your Deadbeats
“Tainted heart, beleaguered mind. Trapped somewhere between rock ’n’ roll and a hard place, the prisoner doesn’t know if the visitor is saviour or executioner. The blues comes knocking, but you’ll be lucky to sell your soul to the stranger at the crossroads with the loaded dice and the twisted smile. More likely he’ll steal it, and your shoes into the bargain.
Its sweet soul music, but not as we know it Jim. A vision of ruined and desperate humanity, asking themselves “where did we go wrong?” as malevolent birds of prey circle overhead and the portal to hell seems a more enticing option than the road we’re on. Be careful what you wish for, its apocalypse whenever and the Deadbeat Apostles take the hindmost”. HG
Return of the Day of the Deadbeats – OMS Magazine – Summer 2019
The second edition of the (mostly, music – wise) new rootin’ tootin’ country rockin’, guess you’d call it a boutique, festival by the Isis – it’s a proper Nashville exchange programme here, and we’re feeling a bit underdressed. You simply have to doff your Stetson to the loving attention to detail – the room out the back of the pub looks a million dollars, as does testifyin’ Deadbeats frontman Michael Ginger (Shirt of the Day), and you’re invited to kick back on a hay bale while savouring the cream of the local alt – country scene in their natural habitat. The Epstein get the gathered all excited, packing a setlist of dustbowl gold – always guaranteed. Headliners August List send us rolling homewards along (thankfully not in, just…) the river, plundering their back catalogue, dusting off and bringing the thunder with, 40 Rod of Lightnin’. Roll on The Return of The Return of…
Main gig preview – Day of the Deadbeats Festival – Nightshift Magazine – May 19
A gentle but high-quality introduction to festival season as local country-soul stars The Deadbeat Apostles host their second annual all-dayer on the banks of the Thames at the historic Isis Farmhouse. While there’s no set stylistic theme the music tends towards the rootsier end of the spectrum for the most part, with the hosts’ energetic mix of Grand Ole’ Oprey and Harlem Apollo as good a climax to a day of music as you could hope for, the band led by two great vocal talents in Mike Ginger and Michelle Mayes. They’re joined across the day by local alt.country and folk-rock heroes The Epstein, back in action after a bit of a hiatus; haunting and powerful folk-drone stars The August List; rock’n’roll and rockabilly maestros The Long Insiders, channelling the spirits of Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Jody Reynolds through The Cramps’ gothic mud slick; expansive bluegrass and folk ensemble The Knights of Mentis; blues rockers The Ragged Charms; atmospheric, spaced-out gloom rockers Flights of Helios, coming in where Radiohead meets Neu!; Delta and Chicago blues duo Beard of Destiny, and veteran local guitarist Johnny Hinkes’ traditional country crew The Prairie Clams. As well as the music, beer and all that necessary stuff, there’ll be kid-friendly activities and sideshows. Summer’s here folks, here’s the entry gate.
The Deadbeat Apostles support Jim Jones & the Righteous Mind – The Bullingdon – Nightshift Magazine May 19
The Deadbeat Apostles provide a typically gutsy and uplifting warm-up to tonight’s Stand Up To Racism show. The local six-piece take classic country rock traditions and lovingly update them for the modern age, particularly strong on vocal arrangements. They represent the lighter side of Oxford’s roots and Americana scene, the emphasis firmly on belting out a tune and having a dance, and their Day of the Deadbeats festival at the Isis on May 4th should be unmissable.
It’s nearly thirty years since I last encountered JimJones in his (now revived) band Thee Hypnotics, at the Treworgey Tree Fayre near Liskeard. That notorious festival was so royally fucked-up that it ended with the official security going around in gangs mugging people, even taking the watches off their wrists. But the band played a dynamite set, nearly blowing their friends and headliners Loop offstage. Never one to opt for a quiet life Jones has soldiered on, forming The Righteous Mind in 2014 after the breakup of The Jim Jones Revue. Tonight they all look fantastic: pointed quiffs, sharp clothes and enough black hair dye to sink
a navy. Two keyboard players face each other across the stage while the upright musicians pose
unashamedly in their all black attire. The backbone and real star is the drummer: tight, expressive and hard-hitting in every sense. Jones himself spends much of the set shaking a pair of maracas, his deep, throaty voice bearing all the hallmarks of a life consumed in and by rock‘n’roll. There’s plenty of material from new album ‘CollectiV’, with its industrial guitar sound right at the edge of distortion, Jones playing Keith Richards’ 1964 Gibson Hummingbird throughout the LP. Taken as a whole everything works together perfectly, wild abandon matched with solid songwriting and blazingly proficient playing. The
Bully is the perfect size for the experience, and even legendary record producer John Leckie has
found his way to Cowley Road to see what the fuss is about. With an ear to bands like The Cramps and
even a nod to Roy Orbison, Jim Jones continues his own rock‘n’roll journey, and everyone here is very
happy to be along for the ride.
‘Bigger Man’ – Single review – Nightshift Magazine – April 2019
From The August List’s drone-laden country gothic, through The Epstein’s cinematic prairie pop, to Ags Connolly’s outlaw ballads, country music has a firm grip on the local scene, and The Deadbeat Apostles offer another angle on the scene: bold, earthy and maybe a little more showy than some of their counterparts. That probably comes from the vocal interaction between Mike Ginger and Michelle Mayes: he rough hewn and roustabout; her richly soulful, all Stetsons and leopard print, together uplifting even while singing the blues. Backed by traditional steel twang and scraping fiddle ‘Bigger Man’ marks The Deadbeats out as Oxford’s most unabashedly Nashville friendly country act, no little hint of Kenny Rogers
and Tammy Wynette about this rousingly hangdog anthem. Two more fingers of gulping whiskey please barman, we’re gonna be here all night.
Oxfordshire Music Scene Winter 2019 – Day of the Deadbeats Review at The Isis Farmhouse
Some of the walls are painted blood red. On others, the wallpaper peels away, betraying decades of neglect. Thick fumes of alcohol hang in the air and, above our heads, a crystal chandelier swings. Here we are again at the Isis Farmhouse, deep in the heart of Oxford’s Country Music world, for the bi-monthly Day of
the Deadbeats. Slumped around a table near the out of tune piano sit our hosts, the six members of The Deadbeat Apostles. For at least an hour they share one packet of crisps between them, and then stride up for their opening set. It’s early in the evening and there are still families finishing their supper in the pub.
Lead guitarist Jake Swinhoe thrashes an E major chord on his Gretsch and children look genuinely terrified. Vocalist Mike “The Mick” Ginger tears into the truck driving classic Six Days on the Road with its daunting vision of “little white pills and eyes open wide.” Kin folks, it’s time to start drinking, heavily.
These regular events are a pure shot of Nashville in the city’s arm. The Deadbeats usually take care of the open and closing sets, joined half way by special guests who have serious nerve to turn up here without at least donning a ten gallon Stetson hat. By the end of the evening people who should know better are up on table dancing. The band’s other lead singer Michelle “Alabama” Mayes spits out a fiery rendition of
Jackson and the group speed through Bigger Man, Run Devil Run and other standouts from their debut LP. Another fine night in a unique riverside venue and all that’s left come closing time is the promise of another Sunday morning coming down. (JB)
Nightshift Magazine – Common People Oxford Review – June 2018
Up against The Jacksons, DEADBEAT APOSTLES play to a smaller crowd than they deserve, particularly since they put on a far more inclusive and uplifting show than their somewhat rambling mainstage counterparts. With not one but two show-stealing singers, their mix of r’n’b bangers and bottom-of-a- glass laments bridge the gap between afterhours blues shack and big stage soul revue and they bring to a close a day that threatened a wash-out but delivered a genuine celebration of what’s best in Oxford music. Dale Kattack
Nightshift Magazine – The Day of the Deadbeats Album Review – May 2018
From a six piece band you could describe as seasoned and gnarly, you’d expect the debut album by The Deadbeat Apostles to be a straightforward, evangelical, hoe-down blues romp: the kind of shit-kicking rowdiness they are adroit at regularly starting across the county. But laid out in the round, their party pieces, given the chance to show their heritage and breadth, take on a higher level of musical wisdom and reverence. This is largely due to being individually fronted by two very special singers: Mike Ginger, whose rampant gusto can swing from a raucous Roger Daltrey on first track ‘Awkward Age’, all the way over to an urbane cowboy Mick Hucknell on ‘Can’t Stop The Rain’ and ‘Man Who Sold His Soul’, and Michelle Mayes, a real soulful belter in the mould of Eddi Reader who totally commands her tracks `Stand Up’ and ‘Gonna Be Different’. Better still, when their alchemy is corralled into a duet on the heavenly country of ‘Lonesome’, their combined qualities ooze out of a real peach of a song. The band’s solid music ranges wildly too, with a clutch of rocking intro riffs that would make Keith Richards fall out of his coconut tree with excitement, notably in ‘Back Lane Blues’, and the eye opening ‘Dutch Rudder’ (a hearty paean to being aided with your own onanism). They are equally at home with spiritual Americana and the deep South, with the O Brother, Where Art Thou? chug-a-lug of ‘Shall Not Repent’ showing huge rhythmic depth, alongside the slow hand National guitar twang of ‘Bigger Man’ . So if you’re one of the breathless crowd, palpitating dangerously at the end of one of The Deadbeat Apostles’ gigs, wondering if buying the album would match and extend the evening’s joy in your front room: it does, and a whole lot more besides.
OMS – Oxfordshire Music Scene – Album Review May 2018
Oxford had a long wait for the spirit of country music to seize it by the scruff of the neck. Recently we had Frances Pugh and the Whiskey Singers, Great Western Tears and even manic yodelling from the Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band. But it’s taken Deadbeat Apostles – six wayward spirits – to up the game. Day of the Deadbeats chandeliers off of gutsy crescendos and garage band guitars, with early-Nashville dripping from their strings. Backlane Blues and Bigger Man are among standout tracks here, all clanging forward in glorious, clumsy, Exile on Main Street chaos. Vocally, the group sound like Fleetwood Mac being throttled in an Alabama chicken shack by the ghosts of Hank Thompson and Kitty Wells. And believe you me country folk, anyone who throttles Fleetwood Mac is a pal of mine. (JB)
Nightshift Magazine – The Cellar Review – November 2017
If The Shapes are Wigan Casino via The Roxy, The Deadbeat Apostles are the place where The Grand Ol’ Oprey meets Harlem Apollo, steel guitar twang and Mike Ginger’s big, rootsy voice up against the phenomenal Michelle Mayes, a full-on soul belter who should be leading her own revue. Most band struggle to have one decent singer; that Deadbeat Apostles have two seems positively selfish. They’re more than generous with their good vibes though, one minute sounding like Percy Sledge gone rodeo crazy, the next going all cheesy on a song that to all intents and purposes could be The Mavericks doing a mash-up of `Eye of the Tiger’ and `Jean Genie’. By the end they’re knocking out pure goodtime roadhouse r’n’b like bedtime doesn’t exist. It does of course but we wake up Saturday morning to a text from a friend reminding us about our dancing. It takes something to get cynical old Nightshift’s feet moving but even we enjoy the good times when they’re served up so well.
Rhythm and Booze Review – Wychwood Festival
“Oxford based, The Deadbeat Apostles continued the rootsy vein over at the Hobgoblin stage with a set of soulful Americana and stripped back, driving country rock, with the likes of Blood On My Pillow, Man Who Sold His Soul and the Stax Records inspired Can’t Stop The Rain, proving that the UK is producing acts on par with anything from Nashville.”
DailyInfo Review – The Old Fire Station Oxford
“The band were ably supported by local country rock act, The Deadbeat Apostles. As well as having perhaps the two best dressed lead singers this side of the Atlantic, the band brought to the stage an old-fashioned, American-tinged style that is as endearing, as it is familiar.”
Oxfordshire Music Scene Review – Summer 2017
“If the Deadbeat Apostles take their visual cues from Jose Guadaloupe Pasada then their musical nonce might come from The Cramps or Carl Perkins. In fact they could have taken their cues from any group who wield retro guitars, on any stage, anywhere west of NYC where you’d struggle to fit a matchbox, or your 1950s second hand clothes. They are the type of assembly who could make a bastard of an album. However, for now, Oxford must suffice with their new EP on which Male Man and Badfoot are the standout tracks. Their recent support slot with The Long Insiders split middle-aged eardrums. Tinnitus turned up to 11.” (JB)
Nightshift Magazine – Demo of the Month February 2017
“Blimey. Due to the absence of much available online music until now we’d always had The Deadbeat Apostles down as a bluesy country act (what little we could ever find certainly was). This set of songs blows that early impression pretty clean out of the water. There is a distinct country element at play, notably in the slide guitar and twang of sultry opener `I Can’t Stop the Rain’, but it’s way more soulful than we’re expecting, with some rich, gospel-flavoured backing vocals to lift it all up several levels. `Pilgrim’s Dreams’ too is as much Nashville as it is Atlanta, with its loping gait and happyfeeling-sad vibe, but as it builds to a passionate conclusion, you’re starting to get rather more Wilson Pickett or Al Green than Willie Nelson out of it. The real banger, though, is final track `The Man Who Sold His Soul’, which is real old school soul, leading in with a sweet, understated Percy Sledge feel before an epic lead vocal from Mike Ginger, coupled with some seriously heroic backing vocals, make it a night to remember. The arrangement and production are exceptional and while it’s rare to get some genuine soul music in the pile, when it’s this good, it makes the wait more than worthwhile.”
What the press are saying
“They’re having so much fun in a country rockabilly, 60s British blues barrelhouse kinda way. Being different genders helps keep the vocal lines varied”
“Easy country soul from The Deadbeat Apostles”
“Oxford’s answer to the Americana scene”
“An easy country rocking outfit”
“Syrupy soul over the smoothest of the west coast”
“Like a cross between The Byrds, coke bloat era Fleetwood Mac and Dennis Wilson’s solo work”
“The classic sound of sundown”