© George Pennock
Photos by George Pennock
Live Gig review by David Mccallum
It has been a while since Anathema have been to Belfast, this being their 4th appearance since their inception in the early 90s. This was the opening night of the extensive European Distant Satellites tour which began on a high in a sweaty Belfast club with an attentive audience lapping up every note. The first thing that becomes apparent is the wide range of music fans that are present, from young hipster types to aging prog rock fans and they all meshed together perfectly in front of what was a memorizing almost 2 hr performance. Opening with “The Lost Song” from “Distant Satellites” the sound was of such a high standard that it sounded like the recording. The Cavanagh brothers spearheaded the performance with subtle musical interplay between keyboards and guitars and developed a rapport with the audience very quickly.
The percussionist and drummer switched places mid set for a few songs which was an interesting development and a totally seamless transition. Lee Douglas was just top class vocally from start to finish, such a haunting voice and compliments Cavanagh perfectly. The set spanned the bands last 3 records with only 2 songs prior to this period, if you were not familiar with these records the gig would have been a steep learning curve but an experience which would have not been unfulfilling. The band finished the performance with an energetic rendition of “Fragile Dreams” from “Alternative 4”. Whilst it would have been excellent to hear some of the material from “Judgement” or a “Fine Day to Exit”, it has to be accepted that the band are keen to move forward and it would be impossible now with such a rich catalogue to please all corners.