Tracks Monkeys With Lasers

The Antlers @ Pure Groove – 04/09
September 8, 2009, 9:55 pm
Filed under: gigs, music | Tags: ,

It had been a while since I’d last made one of the Pure Groove instore sessions; the last being a Frank Turner show. As such, my memories of such shows was of a packed out record shop with a lot of people who weren’t seemingly all that interested in the artist just there to see what the fuss was about. It’s fair to say this show was a little bit different.

Now the previous one had been an evening show on a Saturday. The Antlers, however, were on at 1.30 on a Friday afternoon so you can begin to see how the atmosphere was going to be a bit different. Arriving what I thought was going to be a bit late, I was slightly surprised to find tables scattered about the shop with people sitting round drinking coffee. But I had got the right place and the gear setup on stage backed me up on that one.

After getting over the unusual surroundings, and the fact half of the crowd of forty were businessman on their lunch break, the three piece of The Antlers took to the small Pure Groove stage and following some setting up of kit they got underway. The set consisted of the majority of the ‘Hospice’ album which I, criminally, have yet to mention in the blog so far (bar the track ‘Bear’ appearing on one of the podcasts) which I’m surprised at as it’s one of my favourite albums of this year with it’s beautifully poetic lyrics and wonderful accompanying music.

Live, the album came across really well despite some problems with the sound; for example, the vocals were far too high for the first few songs, completely overpowering the rest of the sound. What was refreshing, both for me and the band it seemed, was that they didn’t just play the songs exactly as they were on the album but played around with them a little bit. I’m not always a fan of toying with songs live but they way the songs are written lends itself to this well as it’s more of an atmospheric sound than straight music per se with the guitars giving out reverb heavy ambience and the keyboards backing this up.

All the songs came across really well with Kettering and Sylvia being highlights (both on the album and at the show). The live version of Sylvia was quite different to the recorded version but sounded fantastic and, speaking to the band after, it turns out that they haven’t played that song live for a while so it was a pleasure to be able to hear it.

I thought the set was, altogether, really good with the rather intimate atmosphere adding to it. It was great to be able to speak to the guys afterwards as well and to even get my copy of the album signed by the three of them. The live sound really impressed me and I would loved to have seen them at the Lexington that evening but I, sadly, was unable to make the show. I hope these guys come back soon and that they continue to get the success and recognition that the album deserves.

The Antlers – Kettering (live)

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