Anathema - Universal (Live DVD) [Review]When you were growing up and first getting into music properly-reading the music press, discovering bands, buying CDs/ records etc, I bet there was one thing that used to wind you up no end. This was when YOUR favourite band, the one that YOU had discovered, the one that YOU cherished, the one that YOU had spent all your pocket money on buying the Japanese-import-gatefold-sleeve-with-the-lyric-sheet-in-Japanese because NO-ONE in your school had it: when YOUR band started being liked by OTHER PEOPLE. Oh yes, I know that feeling- the sense of outrage, the pang of loss, the belief that THEY hadn’t liked them from the start, THEY didn’t LOVE them like YOU did. The horrible realisation that YOUR band might, you know, actually be popular. And therefore not cool.This won’t do at all now, will it?

How ironic then that we should now feel the same sense of outrage, the same sense of injustice, the same sense of longing for things to be different for YOUR Band, the one that YOU discovered, the one that YOU cherish to be, err,  MORE POPULAR.

Put simply: why aren’t  Anathema the biggest band in the world?

This handsome DVD of a live performance is yet another brilliant addition to a back catalogue that has garnered more critical praise, more effusive prose, more gushing than many of their contemporaries.It’s easy to see why. Anathema make beautiful, grown up, emotionally charged, stunningly evocative and, at times, awe inspiring music.

Recorded in the historical and beautiful setting of the amphitheatre in Phillippolis, Greece at the start of their European tour last September, this is a perfect showcase and response to anyone who,perhaps as yet unacquainted with this band might enquire: “What’s all the fuss about?” Filmed by documentary maker Lasse Hoile, who has also played his magic lens capturing the likes of Steven Wilson and Opeth, this is (says he not trying to sound like their PR man) an essential purchase for any fans of this band. A set list that revolves around Anathema‘s last two albums- the majestic “Weather Systems” and its equally brilliant “We’re Here Because We’re Here” plus a few choice older cuts this is the smoking gun evidence of why this band consistently get rave reviews for their live shows.

If you love music- and given you’re reading this website, there’s a fair bet you do- do yourselves a favour. Go on: buy this DVD and relive the majesty and magic of this astonishing band. Then: go and buy it for your partner, for your parents, for Dave the postman, for Paul the newsagent and for the stranger on the train that you see every day but can’t quite bring yourself to say “hi” to. Yes, them. Go on. You’ll feel better. They will feel better and we will all be one step closer to getting Anathema the plaudits and fame they so richly deserve.

Anathema – Official Website