They share the same influences as Jimmy Page, but one of them is a New Orleans vampire: Meet Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse

Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse
(Image credit: Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse)

Comprising Louisiana-born singer and musician Greta Valenti and guitarist and British Blues Hall Of Fame inductee Robin Davey, California-based Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse are currently taking their blend of blues, rock, country and soul around Britain on a 19-date tour.


You must be sick of explaining the band’s name, but… please spill the beans. 

Valenti: [Laughs] Our song What’s My Name from our first album Love & Murder semi-explains that had I been a boy my name would have been Beaux Gregory, and that my dad always liked his boy children much better than me [laughs]. Also, I wanted a band that was all about Louisiana, where I’m from, and the beautiful gumbo of cultures that make up that incredibly unique place. 

In these ADD-affected days, people scroll past something they don’t recognise. Has the name’s obscurity had any negative impact? 

Davey: At first we did wonder if we had made a mistake, that it was so long, or too weird, but the opposite has happened. It stuck in people’s mind as unusual, even if they can’t pronounce it… 

Valenti: …It’s ‘Gree Gree’, not ‘Griss Griss’. It’s French, people! 

The band’s intriguingly titled third album, Hot Nostalgia Radio, was written over a four-year spell, and you had more than a hundred songs to choose from. What were you looking for in the final fourteen? 

Valenti: After such a long wait, every song had to be a banger. We’re an independent band, we run our own label and we really need to get our name out there and in front of more people. I wanted an album of songs that you could hear on the radio. 

Satisfy Your Queen, the first single from the album, is powered by a dirty, Led Zeppelin-like riff that sticks in the brain. 

Davey: My influences are the same as those of Jimmy Page. The intro riff is based around something Lightning Hopkins or Guitar Slim would play, but revved up a little. Which is basically what Zeppelin did.

The video for that track has Greta in mock vampire teeth and wielding a broad sword. It looks like it was a lot of fun to make

Valenti: The song itself is a bit aggressive. I’m a woman demanding people to satisfy their queens, whether in a sexual or relationship way. I wanted a fun video to reveal my true nature as a New Orleans vampire. 

As well as being musical partners, you guys are a couple. When and how did you meet? 

Davey: Through YouTube, of all places. We were in separate bands, and both had videos in an early YouTube music video competition. 

What was Robin’s chat-up line? 

Davey: We knew each other a while before we got together, so there was no definitive chat-up line, though I did cast Greta as the lead in a Buckcherry video I was directing. 

Valenti: That was very casting-couch behaviour. He also sent me some scandalous photographs. I guess it worked. Together sixteen years this fall. 

The press info talks of “epic, one-of-a-kind live shows”. What makes them unique? 

Davey: Sometimes our show approaches three hours, and although we have a list of songs, we never have a set order. It all depends on the room, the audience and how we are feeling. 

Valenti: We make it unique. I’ve been a stage performer since the age of four – theatre, off-Broadway, Groundlings improv, and of course music and my New Orleans theatrical and mystical upbringing. Robin’s been a touring British blues musician since he was fourteen. We are a modern-day vaudeville circus act creating music. We try to not only entertain but also to connect and to find our people in this big yet also very small spinning rock in outer space. 

Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse are on tour in the UK until May 7, and return in July. For dates and tickets, visit their website. Hot Nostalgia Radio is out on May 3.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.