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Antimatter Live in London

Prog checks out the melancholy music makers.

It’s a miserable January evening but there’s a real buzz in Camden, and the intimate Barfly is pleasingly busy for support act Jade Vine.

The five-piece, who’ve previously played with the likes of Anathema and Curved Air, are not only showcasing new members – Mila Verney on keys and Yannis Paloyannidis on bass – but they’re also teasing the audience with new material from the forthcoming Mind Of A Man.

After the slick melodies of opener Lost It All from their Daniel Cavanagh-co-produced debut Nothing Can Hide From Light, they switch to the moody Anticipation, which is packed with multiple time changes and lush vocal harmonies. As the title hints, this is a release worth waiting for. Jade Vine’s slick sounds are the perfect accompaniment to Antimatter’s melancholic melodies and as the passionate Lose Control reaches its powerful crescendo, the audience’s appreciation is clear.

You can count on your fingers the number of times Brits Antimatter have played their home country. After last year’s successful European tour, Mick Moss’s collective are finally bringing their electric set of The Judas Table to the UK. It’s just sacrilege they aren’t headlining a bigger venue.

L-R: guitarist David Hall, frontman Mick Moss, drummer Liam Edwards and bassist Ste Hughes.

L-R: guitarist David Hall, frontman Mick Moss, drummer Liam Edwards and bassist Ste Hughes. (Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Antimatter are kings of melancholy so it’s fitting the stage should be plunged into darkness for most of their set, illuminated only by the neon red Barfly logo and occasional laser lights. Dressed in sombre black, Moss comes across

as confident and in control of his performance, his hypnotic voice caressing new songs like Killer just as easily as it does older numbers such as Over Your Shoulder from their 2001 debut Saviour. Then there’s the stunning Uniformed & Black, which is just one of the many highlights. It’s hard to believe this is the same man who was too afraid to sing solo at the beginning of Antimatter’s career.

The Judas Table vocalist Jenny O’Connor joins the band onstage for a couple of songs, and there’s a nod to Moss’ Sleeping Pulse side project with a rendition of Gagging Order. The song fits perfectly with the rest of the set, as does their tight cover of Pink Floyd’s Welcome To The Machine.

It’s an incredible show; the audience is packed with fans old and new; some have travelled across Europe to be here tonight, and Prog even spots Anathema’s Vincent and Daniel Cavanagh among the throng.

After almost two hours, and a slick encore of their recent single Stillborn Empires, Moss is grinning all over. The crowd cheer and the musician responds with the biggest grin ever. “Nice one, Camden!” he says, looking genuinely chuffed. We might not have to wait too long to see them play here again.

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.