The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live review: Anteros

Bittersweet dreampop foursome Anteros grace the tiny stage of Jimmy’s for a night full of energy

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If you’ve not yet heard of Anteros, get ready, because they’re about to become unavoidable. The London four-piece have been curating a steady and dedicated following for several years now, wooing fans with their self-proclaimed “bittersweet dreampop” and have supported bands such as the mighty Two Door Cinema Club and Blaenavon.

The band members didn’t exactly make a grand entrance to the stage — shuffling through the crowd, with frontwoman Laura Hayden muttering “Excuse me!” and “Sorry!” in earnest. However, once upon that tiny stage, their less than exotic entrance was immediately overthrown by their infectious energy.

‘Cherry Drop’ opened the set, with Hayden strutting across the stage, embodying the effortless swagger that very few lead singers can capture. Not a single member of the band was static for their performance. Bassist Josh Rumble and guitarist Jackson Couzens swing around, feeling every ounce of electricity in the air. Even Harry Balazs up on drums was totally animated.

The highlight of the night came with ‘Bonnie’, a song that Hayden described as a tribute to girls and for embracing who they are. Beaming, she invited any ladies in the audience to join the band on stage to celebrate this, a gesture that was met with enthusiasm from all.

In an industry dominated by men, Anteros are at the forefront of challenging this notion and it’s refreshing to see. Hayden herself seems to serve as new icon for both men and women. With so few prominent female-fronted bands, her ability to inspire will not go unnoticed.

The only issue with an otherwise brilliant night was down to the venue itself. Having seen Anteros perform at a variety of other venues before, I know all too well how active the crowd can be. The band are simply no longer cut out to play in such small environments.

Nonetheless, everyone seemed to be having a great time, totally captivated by the band, with Hayden herself proclaiming her love. In a particularly humbling moment, she paused the set to say “You know what’s great? Hearing you all singing our lyrics back to us.”

Old time fan favourite, the melancholy titular song ‘Anteros’ brought the night to a close. A slow burner that reaches a fever pitch towards the end, it really embodies what the band are all about. As it reached its climax, all members congregate around Balazs on drums, each utterly lost in sound and their unity. Whilst their lyrics often capture heartbreak and frustration, there’s a distinct cheeriness to Anteros that has had me hooked from my first listen and is a vibe that continues to draw in more fans everyday.

A band that can combine the sweet and the sour with their music are sure to go far in a generation that always seeks to find the good in bad situations. It’s this combination of contrasts that allow Anteros to succeed and will no doubt propel them even further in the coming few months.

8/10