Bristol-based post-garage/punk trio HOLY POPES are pleased to return with their new single ‘Apples’ which is set for release on 8th February 2024.
The single is the first new material from the band since the release of their debut self-titled album HOLY POPES in 2023, via Hull-based independent label Man Demolish Records (NEWMEDS).
Alongside the new single, the band are pleased to reveal a run of Spring/Summer 2024 UK and France headline tour dates, with tickets on sale now (see below for full listings).
One of those serendipitous songs that just came naturally to guitarist Poppi (ex-The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster), ‘Apples’ was finished in a few hours with the lyrics coming together all in one go, spewing forth with an anger that can be felt in both the delivery of the song, and the caustic, lurching barrage of storm-tossed riffs that swell and crash throughout the tense new offering.
Commenting on the track, which addresses systemic corruption within the police force, Poppi says: “The arrest, and later conviction, of a serving police officer within the MET for two decades of horrific crimes against women summarised a rage that had been building for years. Combined with the murder of Sarah Everard—again, by a serving police officer—as well as the Casey review documenting institutional racism and misogyny within the MET police, there was no way this song could not spill out of us.”
“Be it the travellers at the Battle of the Beanfield, the pickets of the miners’ strikes, or the horrific brutality at the Kill the Bill protests in Bristol and around the country—not to mention the continued use of stop and search practices in poor communities, mostly affecting young black men—there’s a history in the United Kingdom of police violence against those of a less privileged class that has gone on for too long. These aggressive practices, and specific officers, who are guilty of the murders of Blair Peach, Ian Tomlinson, Chris Kaba, and Sarah Everard to name just a few, are not found solely on the violent streets of America, but here in the UK.”
“Too often we refer to these incidents as ‘rotten apples’…but with the evidence of corruption, silencing and solidarity within the ranks of the police, it’s not one rotten apple; the whole barrel is rotten. We do not consent to violence, racism or misogyny. If this is policing by consent, what is the option other than to oppose it?”
HOLY POPES’ self-titled debut album was released in January 2023, preceded by visceral singles ‘DBT, ‘Pencils’ and ‘Jerry’ which showcased the band’s twitching, erratic take on post-garage punk for the first time, and picked up a swathe of support from underground alternative tastemakers at Distorted Sound, Noizze, God Is In The TV Zine, The Soundboard, The Punk Site, Punktuation Mag, At The Barrier, Joyzine and more.
Outside of his duties with the band, Poppi also works with men to provide a space to discuss their place within a patriarchal system that inhibits their own emotional growth, whilst contributing to the mass violence we see against women on an hourly basis. As such, thematically, HOLY POPES’ music serves as a reflection of where we are in the world, both emotionally and systemically.
“Music is a tool to express much more than a series of sounds and rhythms,” says Poppi of the band’s ongoing commitment to political activism through music. “It’s there to capture a moment in people’s lives, to shine a light on the horrors and realities of the world, and expose counter culture ideas to the people around us. Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Crosby Stills and Nash, Crass, Ian Dury, Rage Against the Machine and many, many more…politics and music is not solely for one genre or one era, it is one of the crucial essences of music itself.”
‘Apples’ is out now via Man Demolish Records
24th Feb – Bradford upon Avon – The Three Horseshoes (UK)
9th March – London – The Book and Record Bar (UK)
11th March – Rennes – Melody Maker (FR)
13th March – Saint Brieuc – Le Cessonnais (FR)
14th March – Le Mans – venue TBC (FR)
15th March – Rouen – Le 3 Pieces (FR)
16th March – Brighton – Alphabet (UK)
31st March – Hull – The New Adelphi (UK)
11th April – Bristol – The Thunderbolt (UK)
26th April – London – The Night Owl, Finsbury Park (UK)
7th June – Todmorden – The Golden Lion (UK)
13th June – Bristol – The Golden Lion (UK)
29th June – Bristol – The Crofters Rights (UK)
13th July – Brighton, Hope and Ruin (UK)