ANTIMATTER AND KARI RUESLATTEN PUSH THE DEFINITIVE AT LONDON'S BOSTON MUSIC ROOMS
Some ideas just seem to come out of nowhere. Co-founder Mick Moss has been taking Antimatter's dark brooding alternative rock vibe out of his Liverpool roots and around the world for nineteen years. Meanwhile after leading the way in the female fronted rock and Metal scene with The 3rd And The Mortal, Trondheim's own siren Kari Rueslatten has been a solo artist for some time now. Her own brand of ethereal, beautifully bleak folk influenced rock has also been making it's mark.
Live gigs in the UK from both have been too rare up to now so it's a real treat that someone has had the idea of combining the two in a co-headline show at London's cosy Boston Music Rooms.
Billed as an acoustic evening it turned out to be a night where both artists pushed that definition in fascinating ways.
The Norwegian half of the show came first and opening with 'Battle Forevermore', Ms Rueslatten soon showed the room she still has a magical, beautiful voice. Backed with a superbly atmospheric soundscape created somehow with one electric guitar by Jostein Ansnes, the result is simply stunning.
The Norse songstress is friendly and charming between songs while in a set covering her career each song manages to captivate the audience, creating a stillness in the room while that voice hangs shimmering in the air over the immaculate musical backdrop.
'Nordnatt' showed that singing in Norwegian made no difference to the quality or effect and adding some piano playing in the likes of the catchy 'Other People's Stories' just filled out the sound even more.
It was the haunting beauty of songs like 'Wintersong' and 'Make Me A Stone' which left the biggest impressions from a terrific set though.
If anyone thought Antimatter would have an issue following that then they haven't seen them live before. With a set up of Mick Moss on acoustic guitar backed by Dave Hall's cultured electric guitar playing, some judicious use of looping technology meant that the two musicians could build up a big if restrained sound to carry their songs.
'Over My Shoulder' was typical of the quality on offer with an insistent rhythm and Hall's delicate use of harmonics allowing the deep, emotional tones Moss brings to a vocal to make their mark.
Focusing more on the back catalogue than the heavier vibe of most recent album The Judas Table' songs like 'A Place In The Sun' and 'Monochrome' lost none of their effectiveness with the sparser arrangements and created their own kind of atmosphere in the room. The rarely played 'Conspire' was a particular treat for many fans.
Even digging into their collection of unexpected covers with Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'The Power Of Love' just showed how good they are at making a song their own.
Two such excellent sets deserved a special ending so Messrs Moss and Hall were joined on stage by Kari for a run through Nick Cave's 'Where The Wild Roses Grow'. It can't have been rehearsed that much but was just stunning with those two voices joining together beautifully.
This was a real treat with two acts stretching the bounds of what you can do in a stripped down format. So much more than an acoustic evening this was two quality acts showing us what we are missing. More UK dates from both please!
Here's some fan filmed videos of the night to give you a full taste of ii.