On the day that their highly anticipated debut album ‘That’s You Lot’ is released, Blaenavon take to the stage at London’s Heaven for the last night of their UK tour, bringing Anteros along for the party too.
Sparkling both in terms of musicality and outfits, Anteros kicked off proceedings. Vocalist Laura Hayden’s sultry swagger is prevalent from the moment she steps foot on stage to opener ‘Cherry Drop’. The track is lifted from the four-piece’s EP ‘Drunk’, dropping at the end of April, and is a zooming pop anthem that sets the tone for the rest of their set. Building riffs and tectonic drums bleed through into new single, and aforementioned EP title, ‘Drunk’, detailing intoxicated antics that only too many of us will be familiar with as Laura sings, “I’m so drunk and in love with you, been doing all the things that I shouldn’t do.” ‘The Beat’ fuses disco sensibilities and a thumping bassline before ‘Breakfast’ bounces around the London venue. Ending on ‘Anteros’ it’s evident the band are going from strength to strength with a sound big enough to fill a space of this size by themselves soon – the future’s bright, the future’s Anteros.
Turning the venue into glorified Blaen-Heaven, the Hampshire trio crash through opener ‘Hell Is My Head’ with primal percussion juxtaposed against a delicate guitar riff. Immediately noticeable, the presence possessed by the band is utterly compelling, moving theatrically around the stage with captivating confidence. Noticeably while sometimes the band can descend into a magnificent sonic ruckus, their music holds unfathomable delicacy, particularly within the lyrics written by singer Ben Gregory, seen in tracks like ‘Let’s Pray’ and ‘Lonely Side’.
‘I Will Be The World’ descends into a beautiful musical whirlwind with crashing instrumentals. Old favourite ‘Into The Night’ also gets an airing, much to the delight of the die-hard fans in the audience as Frank Wright’s bassline snakes around the room while Harris MacMillan’s percussion is beyond palpable.
Beginning the encore a two-piece string section join the band for a precious rendition of ‘Swans’. Re-imagined for their debut, fan favourite ‘Prague ’99’ closes the show and incites a stage invasion of monumental proportions. Departing the stage in a biblical fashion, Ben turns around and falls backwards into the remaining crowd, much like a guitar-wielding Jesus dramatically falling to his disciples. That’s our lot.
Words: Shannon Cotton
Photos: Lauren McDermott