The Antlered Man
Camden Barfly, London
added: 29 Sep 2013
// gig date: 24 Sep 2013
reviewer: Paul Chapinal
XFM and their X-Posure radio show took over the Barfly on Tuesday night, mainly to preview of The Antlered Man’s new album, though they also roped in a couple of interesting support acts.
Up first were three piece Trampolene whose punk/alt-rock full frontal assault is given an odd dynamic because the singer does occasionally sound like Liam Gallagher. A tight, concise performance that suggests good things to come.
Cut Yourself in Half were very unlucky tonight beset by technical problems that put the dampers on them. Nevertheless, they managed to grind a set out of tight, heavy metalcore, and again plenty of potential here.
It would be great to announce that The Antlered Man had nailed it and will never have to support a band again. The reality is that they probably will, but my word there are going to be some anxious looks from the sides of stages. This was an astonishing performance of virtuoso musicianship, imagination and plain raw power. Favourites such as Platoono of Uno and Buddhist Soup mixed with new material - Gdz - and blended perfectly.
Tonight, the setup of bass winged by guitar and keyboards, whether by accident or design, served to give the band a number of perspectives: The sheer lunacy of Damo Ezekiel-Holmes on vocals and keyboards, the shift to some mesmeric guitar work from Danny Fury, and then to a bass and drum combo of Sam Ray and Olive Parker respectively, that are virtually conjoined.
They are heavy and they rock with elements of prog and punk thrown in. Whatever they’ve been listening to, they’ve developed a sound that’s at once frightening and enthralling. At times they teetered on the edge of frantic and out of control, though never quite going over the edge. The Antlered Man can be difficult to listen to, maybe even comprehend, and some will never get it. However, (and we must hope that lots eventually do, let's not get snobby and precious here) if they do get it, they’ll be hooked for life, and will be all the better for it.
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