Rick Anthony’s wild energy instantly leaks into the audience as he takes to the Summerhall stage with The Phantom Band in the latest instalment of Nothing Ever Happens Here. Despite now being on their fourth album, The Phantom Band remain relatively unknown on the larger musical spectrum. However, the Glaswegian six piece capture the attention of their many dedicated spectators as limbs go limp and heads role along to distorted melodies.
Support acts Digitalanalogue and Man of Moon whet the audience’s appetite; both bands build on the various strengths of each successive song to create a musical journey for tonight’s attendees. Digitalanalogue, the solo home recording projects of Ian Turnbull, opens the show with intricate instrumental music that moves and entices new fans with its powerfully emotional sound. Man of Moon move the night’s voyage forward, creating a performance that parallels that of the headlining act. This Edinburgh duo produce sounds akin to 70s punk, creating a much larger noise than expected from their small setup of drums and guitar. They pave the way for the monstrous roar that is to come.
The Phantom Band, with their tough, rugged tones and Anthony’s husky, baritone vocals, present a mature ensemble in comparison with their young predecessor. Although each band member seems absorbed in their individual instruments, their energies intertwine and connect, allowing them to perform as one entity.
The band showcase tracks from their latest album Fears Treading, which listeners may be forgiven for thinking, initially, is an album of outtakes – a collection of cuts that didn’t make it onto their previous album Strange Friend. However, tonight’s performance of the songs proves they have an identity all of their own. The collection constructed is much rawer than previous records, and this comes across as Anthony thrashes around the stage whilst performing them.
They still return to old favourites, such as Crocodile, keeping longstanding fans happy. With its irregular time signatures, dancing rhythmically to this song can be pretty tricky, but it doesn’t stop this dedicated audience from trying.