Gig review round-up: The Antlers and British Sea Power

October 28, 2014, Article by Tom in Culture, Live reviews, Music

Everyone loves a good gig, and we’ve been to a few recently. Here’s what we thought of them…

The Antlers at Hackney Empire

Rolling in to East London to promote their fifth full-length studio album, the excellent Familiars, The Antlers lit up the Empire with their atmospheric brand of indie rock.

Sounding something like a ruddy lovely blend of Local Natives and Sigur Rós, the Brooklyn-based three-piece (plus an extra pianist/trombonist to beef up the sound – he even played them both at the same time! Hero) barely said a word as they drifted their way through an almost flawless set. Opening with the devastatingly beautiful ‘Palace’, they played a large chunk of material from the recent LP, but dipped into their back catalogue for choice cuts such as ‘Kettering’, ‘Widows’, and a surprisingly heavy rendition of ‘I Don’t Want Love’.

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The Empire is a properly beautiful venue, and was well-suited to hosting a band like this. The audience spent the majority of the gig in respectful silence, but the rapturous applause the band received as they made their way off stage following the main portion of the set showed how much of an impact they’d had.

They returned for a two song encore of ‘Refuge’ and ‘Epilogue’ that was perhaps even more hypnotic than what had come earlier. They’ve been on a steady rise for the past few years and, although they might be a bit too ‘weird’ to ever be a festival-headlining commercial success, The Antlers proved again that they’re a formidable live act, more than capable of replicating the exquisite sounds of their records live. If you’ve never given them a spin before, you know what to do.

Also, a shout out for the brilliant support act, singer/songwriter Marika Hackman. Having toured with the likes of Laura Marling and appeared on alt-J’s recent second album, she’s definitely one to watch.

The Antlers played:

No Widows
I Don’t Want Love
Putting the Dog to Sleep

British Sea Power ‘Sea of Brass’ at the Barbican

Cancelled due to a power cut, unfortunately. Disappointing.