@ The Koko, Camden
26th September 2014
Review and Photography by Ashlinn Nash
There is a lot to be said about a band by the choice of venue, and here the Koko seems to be the perfect one for the British progressive outfit, Anathema to be in. With its dramatically pleasing high balconies and theatrical interior the venue harmonises with the bands uplifting, passion fueled and refreshing sound.
The band began their journey as pioneers of melodic heavy music, but due to finding the limitations of this genre, they took the brave plunge and excelled with a new added on style. As heard on newest album “Distant Satellites”, the bands tenth studio album!
The gig tonight is also a pretty early one with the first and only support scheduled to be on at six thirty. Wasting no time Mother’s cake (3.5/5) arrive like a tug boat on the tide of indie/shoe gaze. The Australian three piece deliver a simple sound that would be hard to differentiate from the early works of incubus. Typically this style of music is one that’s notorious for breaking the e string from the sheer amount of twiddled and twanged chords player.
With moments that pay homage, to the average pop streamed rock that the UK has become to familiar with, think the strokes and a slower beach boys and you’re in business. The Trio made up of Yves Krismer on vocal and guitar duties, Benedikt Trenkwalder on bass and drummer Jan Haußels. They have found a formula that works and throughout the set becomes more apparent as they tap in to their own fundamental style.
Mother’s Cake’s music is self confessed to be: based on a complex netting of rhythm and harmonic possibilities without losing its own authenticity or having the effect of artificiality. The band live up to the bio’s apt description, in the form of a high in energy. The set picked up these points throughout the set which did start off a bit dry for most of the fans of the nights headline act. It’s a shame the band didn’t open with a different pairing of tracks as this could have been more favorable to their set, that did pick up towards the end.
Anathema [4/5] have been working at the art of mysteriously addictive rhythms for over twenty years, and this years “Distant Satellites” is no different, coming back with yet again another power punch of a swift, deliciously fruitful on the ear collection of songs, that live are simply perfection.
The band currently working through the European Distant Satellites tour have gained a remarkable popularity, not only on the gig circuit but the award one too. With the most recent victory at Progressive Music Awards for the “Anthem award”, its been non stop for the band, having already toured the USA and Australia. The band have just headed out yet again for another three-month UK and European tour.
There is a certain check list adhered to with progressive rock, most commonly found is the mix of melodies, strong lyrical works, smooth wistful dreamy cords and of course a killer punch that knocks you sideways before gracefully putting you back together, tonight is no different!
With a set list hinged primarily on the newest album, it’s wonderful to have been able to listen to nearly the whole album in a live setting, as it is once that really benefits from being allowed to roam out loud. Opening up with the double time drumming of “The Lost Song, Part 1″ the audience could tell it was going to be an emotional journey!
Cavangh brothers Danny & Vincent with the soaring vocals from Lee Douglas have over time worked their way to become a brilliant powerhouse of vocals and a united front team, whilst the two percussionists and bassist take a step back.
That’s not to say they don’t have a good reaction with the rest of the band but they do seem to work in two units that co-exist and let the music do the talking. Which works perfectly fine for the troupe, who treat the audience to 2012s “Weather Systems” double tracks; “Untouchable, Part 1 and 2″.
Completeing the set with a double encore comprising of part ones; “Firelight”, “A Natural Disaster”, and “Take Shelter” before rounding off with 1998s “Alternative 4” masterpiece “Fragile Dreams” that ends the pitch perfect set wonderfully.
The band tonight have earnt their pure performance stripes with a keen mix of low lights the created an atmosphere that both quenched the retinal and audio kind. Excellent musicianship as well as just having a love for what they have created.
Taking into account this is a album based tour “distant satellites “that captures the grace and beauty of where the band are now after years of being a keen collective that use both experience and clearer song writing to create a moving, soulful and powerful performance.
The Lost Song, Part 1
The Lost Song, Part 2
Untouchable, Part 1
Untouchable, Part 2
The Lost Song, Part 3
You’re Not Alone
The Storm Before the Calm
The Beginning and the End
A Natural Disaster
Distant Satellites is out now and available via Kscope records