Live Review – Anteros @ Mama Roux’s
Review by SdM
Mama Roux’s stage area is fashioned to resemble, I imagine, a sleepy French village street – well it sure as hell isn’t a Brum street: where is the wind-swept litter and road-works for a start? But I digress. The fake windows and plastic foliage are surprisingly transformative, especially given the effects of the stage lighting and several pints of over-priced lager.
Anteros take to the stage to the strains of era defining 70’s disco classic, I Feel Love. A ground swell of raucous cheers and applause herald the London based four-piece. Following the very recent release of their debut album ‘When We Land,’ Anteros are touring headline shows around the UK. And here they are here tonight roughing it in Provence…I mean, Birmingham.
If you have a particular favourite track from the album you’re in luck as they played them all. And that’s no bad thing when it contains oodles of sing-along of pop paragons positively bursting with sparkling brio and enough charm to keep you returning time after time.
It is arguable that with the changes in the way that music is consumed that inevitable shifts have occurred in how an era might be defined musically. Gone are the days of unified youth movements that reflected in the ‘charts’ (ask your mom) and would give music a distinct sound and character. “Anything goes these days, everything’s ‘in’,” as someone once told me. With that in mind the 80’s are as relevant today as they were 30-odd years ago; and enjoying good music is timeless, anyway. Anteros have more than a flavour of the cream of that era and draw easy comparisons to the likes of Blondie, Duran Duran and Altered Images. Elements of synthpop, rock and sides of funk make their way in to a heady mix. ‘Wrong Side’, ‘On The Moon’ and ‘Ring Ring’ set the pace and mood with a impeccable blend of great tunes and performances to match.
Lead vocalist Laura looks every inch a pop star wearing silver sparkling top and a mop of perfect blonde hair that she shakes about and pushes her hands through when lost in the moment. She fixes the front row in determined stare and stands firm when singing the opening lines to Nancy Sinatra’s 60’s anthem, ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’. Laura’s voice sounds passionate and impressive as she breaks into one of a number of non-album tracks, the thumping anthem to blame-it-on-the-booze madness, ‘Drunk’.
“Is it alright if I speak for a minute?” An audience stunned at being asked offer a few voices in agreement. “Ok Cool! I feel that as a woman I have been told my entire life what I need to look like. How my hair needs to feel like; how many colours I can put on my face to make it look better. I spent pretty much my entire life wanting to be somebody else. So a couple of years ago I decided to give up on that and to start embracing and accepting myself for who I am. But most importantly for the wonderful women around me; because, together ladies we are the perfect woman. So, I think it gets a little bit lonely up on this stage.” And with that Laura beckoned all the ladies in the audience to join her on stage for a dance together to ‘Bonnie’. Normal service was resumed as the female contingent filed back into the audience to ‘Fool Moon’.
Laura’s vocal continued to impress with the passionate and soulful ‘Let It Out’. ‘Afterglow’ continued the passion but combine this with ireful rock. The fun returned Anteros style with a brace of frenetic crowd pleasers. ‘Breakfast’ pumped the fervour high with it’s hugely enjoyable silly sing-along chorus. ‘Call Your Mother’ and set closer ‘Anteros’ sealed the night up into a package of songs that were perfectly placed, and a set that was over all too soon.
Maybe, just maybe, Anteros made the summer pop album of 2019. And on Thursday night at Mama Roux’s, they played a gig to match.