Sunday, 6 December 2009

Dinotour : The Antlers - Bristol - 29.11.09

Yes that does say 29th November up there. I haven't written this review up during the week because I've been busy. I'm not making apologies. It's been a good week actually. "How?" you ask. Well, I don't like to brag but I've been doing my bit in the community for the last few days. Giving a little summin back y'know. I spent a couple of lunches with the old guys in the residential home at the start of the week just talking to them and running little errands that they can't do so easily anymore. Wednesday I was at the primary school helping those little cats with their reading. Boy, they've come a long way since last week the little blighters. I topped up this beautiful week of sharing and giving by doing a bit of weeding on a couple of local roundabouts. It's really important we take care of our community isn't it, after all, we're all in this together.

Yeah, this is all bullshit. I ain't been doin' nutin. In fact, the only thing I've been doing is actively avoiding writing up this review. I can't even remember the gig. It was that long ago. In fact, I was going to walk out on this blog like a disgruntled and disenchanted father might on his family but then I played 'Izzo (H.O.V.A)' four times in a row and before I knew it I had my damn hands up and was logging on to this bitch. "Can't leave blogs alone the web needs me."


A while ago I posted a poorly written entry about 'Hospice' by The Antlers in which I probably said how it was the best album of all time and that I was selling all my other CDs or something reactionary like that. Time usually changes opinions, that's just the way things are. I don't think I utterly detested Dannii Minogue two years ago, for example. Still, 'Hospice' is a very special record and whatever I said about it a few posts back, I probably more than stand by. It really is incredible. Over the course of it's ten tracks you really start to feel how intensely personal it is. It sounds strange to say but on occasion you almost feel like your prying by simply listening to it. It demands attention and once its got you, it doesn't let go until that last second of Epilogue is done. And when it is, where are you left? In your hospital bed when its very quiet and your heads spinning because all your visitors have now left and you feel very alone.

Peter Silberman. "Letting people in..." apparently. Get him. Captain social.

Still, the gig. It was at a little place called the Louisiana in Bristol. We got there early and the band were enjoying a pre show carvery. Bit of a WTF moment but what can I say? Sure beats hospital food. Arf! Forgive me for this but I can't recall the name of the support. Something about hills (not Lauren Conrad et al). The Downhills perhaps? Either way, they were aight. Sounded a bit like Editors and yes I know that Editors are copyists of all and sundry, "...sounded a bit like Editors" is not really a compliment anyway. The band arrived at 2130 sharp (oh fascinating ! thanks for including the little details MMD. Bores) and launched straight into
'Prologue' which is all Kid A swells and twinkles and I was already thinking "That sounds a lot better than I thought it would."

They continued to play 'Hospice' in track order which I thought was a nice touch. It's such a cohesive record as one statement that doing it any other way would be foolish. The songs segued into one another beautifully which is a big compliment to Darby Cicci who was manning all those little Korg machines that no one knows how to operate. 'Keys 'n Synths 'n Shit' I often refer to them as. Peter Silberman's voice sat beautifully layered within the songs, rising and falling with the tumbles of the music. Michael Lerner's drumming was really well measured. I'm not a drummer but like with actors, I think I know when I see a really good or bad one. Lerner drums to precision only adding what he needs to. It's a difficult skill to master but when you're performing songs like these, it's absolutely crucial. Colour me very impressed with him basically.. I was going to make a stupid point back then about him being a machine you can rely on and comparing him to a jumbo jet but then I realised I only trust planes as far as I could throw 'em (not far) and I'm utterly convinced I'll die on one. Probably in economy class too to add insult to injur...grizzly death.

Yes. Rubbish photos again. I know. I had to use my phone FFS. Next time I'm just going to do sketches like they do in court. Mine will be of musicians though, not murderers and burglars.

I posted 'Two' on here a while ago and as lead single, it was this song that got the biggest cheer of the night. The fantastically frantic second half of the song was reproduced so well. I could've watched it all night in all honesty. It remains the best Arcade Fire song that those nerds never wrote for me. By this point even the dullards chatting by the bar had worked out that the setlist corresponded to the album tracklist but more importantly, with 'Two' being track seven, we were nearing the end of the gig. I was really excited to hear 'Wake' as its breathtaking on record and again, I wasn't dissapointed. The 'in' on that "...letting people innnnnnnnnnnnnnn" line is so stunning that I knew they wouldn't be able to completely carry it off live but they had a good stab at it. If you don't know what I'm talking about, listen to 'Wake' immediately. It's just over four minutes in. I know because I checked when listening to it in bed the other night. Hairs on my neck all pricked up and tears streaming down my face like I was in Pokemon. It's second only to the "Oh my Gooooooooddddddd" line in Sufjan's 'John Wayne Gacy Jr' in the world-stops-for-a-moment stakes. If you haven't heard THAT then you're an idiot that should be in prison.

Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy Jr.

As a new band that have just released their first proper album, material was a bit thin on the ground. The band were in and out in an hour a bit like erm...a film that needs to be developed. I really welcome this approach because although I'm nails and could beat anyone up in a fight up to and including Van Damme, I get a bit tired stood at gigs sometimes, regardless of who is playing and how good/bad they are. I think its my attention span thats to blame.. I reckon I've got attention deficit disorder actually. By that I mean the"BLAHBLAHLOOKATMEPUTTINGAPENCILUPMYNOSEANDDOINGACARTWHEEL" sort and not the album by Wale because you can't get the latter for love nor money. I'm pretty sure that Wale posts more tweets in a day on his twitter than there are people in the world who have a copy of 'Attention Deficit"

In conclusion, a truly memorable show from a band I predict great things for. Where they'll go after 'Hospice' I really don't know but I can guarantee you it'll be better than home help with a disinterested nurse.

The Antlers - Kettering

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