Where: Summer Sundae Leicester
Venue: DeMontfort Hall
It was about 2.30pm on a sunny Sunday. The previous days of rain had brought festival goers to soar inside DeMontfort Hall. The sun obviously made the audience abandon DeMontfort on Sunday. Initially, I was pleased to find myself walking into a decent sized venue with very few people inside awaiting the mighty Antlers. It took about four minutes to realise my blunder... Not many people in the Midlands know who The Antlers are. That apathetic feel was drawn to me instantly. It wasn't the band, it was the audience of about (and I'm really not exaggerating) 75. I positioned myself three rows from the front (a.k.a, the back row). Looking at my program I noticed Young Knives were scheduled to play outside on the main stage. This only hurt my feelings more due to Young Knives being a Leicester band with severe home support. I took three deep breaths and waited for The Antlers to begin.
The performance was entirely made up of 'Burst Apart' songs. This isn't a bad thing, but I just wanted to scream 'SYLVIA!!' or something of the sort. I don't think this audience were avid fans or had even heard of the band previously. It doesn't take many minutes to read about the band ground-breaking debut album 'Hospice', released in 2009 to tremendous acclaim. With respect to the fans that showed up, I'm sure they'll agree that the atmosphere was pretty poor. I put it down to the lack of audience, but you could realistically mention the laid back attitude of Peter Silberman and co.
They played approximately five to six songs in a half hour slot. 'I Don't Want love' was the opening track and it sounded absolutely monumental in this venue. The reverberation was striking in comparison to Toot's & The Maytals two days prior. Peter was on key and the band seemed to be enjoying playing here. It's almost as if they used this festival as a warm up to a bigger one (Reading/Leeds was two weeks after). The final third of I Don't Want Love was astounding. Peters high pitched vocals bounced off the walls and shook the chandeliers. Once this song ended the audience of 75 began to clap repetitively, as if they actually were being forced to clap out of courtesy rather than appreciation and support.
'French Exit' sounded fresh and brought a clearer sound quality compared to the album version which includes several layers and many synthesizer drones. I loved the opening thirty seconds and the initial drum beat sent shivers down my spine. I received the same feeling with the eerie and mouth-watering 'Parenthesis'. With the brilliant drum and high noted guitar opening, the 'cat' drones were heard with hilarity. If you don't understand what that means then check out the above video. Peter sang his delicious verse as the bass riff hit like a tonne of bricks. Something which I admire in The Antlers sound is their ability to create such beautiful sounds. Burst Apart is an album which shows maturity and progress by each member, which is why the teenagers began leaving before the 10 minute mark.
It's hard to replicate what you create in the studio, but The Antlers surprisingly can re-create glorious layers. The track 'EverynightMy Teeth Are Falling Out' sounded incredible. The introduction was clear cut perfect and peters vocals sounded incredibly refined. The final 30 seconds were amazing. Beautiful guitar sounds raised the roof and as the band abruptly stops playing, the audience begin clapping instantly.
The eeriness of 'Putting The Dog To Sleep' was enough to win me over. The highly reverberated barre chords were played in perfect time. The sparse instrumentation only added to the improved atmosphere due to the connection between loyal fans and the band. Peter wails out the key lyrics of, "Put your trust in me, I'm not going to die alone." Then the desperate finisher of, "I don't think so..."
I thoroughly enjoyed my 30 minutes listening to The Antlers play their downtempo-esque music. Time flew by as I angrily and childishly waited for 'Two' or 'Kettering'. This material was more than doable for me to spread the word to my family and friends sitting outside listening to Young Knives. Before I sign off this live review, I must personally apologise to The Antlers. I'm sorry that the Summer Sundae audience was pathetic... You deserved better and I overheard some listeners sharing negativity which wasn't correct. To some, The Antlers are ethereal and wonderful. To the 15 year old Young Knives fans, The Antlers are "boring shit". Again... I'm so sorry.