Live Review: And So I Watch You from Afar and Antlered Man – Academy 3, Manchester – 20/04/2013

After what can be described as the sunniest day in Manchester in the year 2013 so far, upstairs in the student union, located in Academy 3, is nothing but a sheer spectacle. Tonight, it isn’t surprising that the attendance of this show is bursting at the seams.

Before the main event, the audience is settled down by London weird rockers Antlered Man. Acting as a last minute tour support replacement for the recently demised Gallops, Antlered Man contrast heavy rock structures which sledgehammer alongside proggy synths which whirl around the atmosphere. Their ‘weird’ dynamic keeps things interesting, and more importantly, entertaining for the majority of their set. A flute here, high pitched vocals clashing with deeper toned vocals, and a sense of fun shapes this band’s set perfectly. (3.5/5)

It doesn’t take long before the impatience of the room boils over and the magnificent presence of Northern Irish mob

And So I Watch You from Afar dazzle the stage. Playing the first four songs off their latest record, the brilliant ‘All Hail Bright Futures’, the instrumentalists add a tight eye popping performance along the bouncy enjoyable riffs of ‘Like a Mouse’, ‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable’, and ‘Ambulance’.

What can be noted is the addition of vocals to the band’s structure certainly enhances that essence of fun and wonder in their performance. The new material really flows well along with the rest of the band’s catalogue including the brilliant ‘Search: Party: Animal’ and ‘Don’t Waste Time Doing Things You Hate’, which manages to set off an explosive push pit in front of the stage. In fact it is moments like this that give off an example of the varied motions the band can orchestrate in their music. That smooth contrast between the ambient laden notes with the sharp electrified riffs shows that this band aren’t one sided in the slightest. It certainly explains the varied gathering showing people from all walks of life and interests being in awe and understanding the band’s art.

Reacting and answering to a well answered applause and rally, And So I Watch You from Afar return to finish this last night of their current tour with a bang. Rounding things off with ‘Set Guitars to Kill’ and the heartfelt tones of ‘The Voiceless’, the band finish at their finest and play with such honesty that only a gentleman would know how to. (5/5)


Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)


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