The Antelopes: Breaking News

Another rare post punk reissue comes courtesy of Floating Mill Records. Although The Antelopes got airplay and the appreciation of John Peel with their track, Hour of Light, the band never received enough recognition, and fell apart only months after their formation. Hour of Light was originally recorded in 1981 and released by a one off label as part of a seven-inch single. Now the track is included in FMR's Breaking News ten-song compilation, alongside more material from The Antelopes and The Class of ‘76 which two of the band's members formed after The Antelopes' demise.

The Antelopes were formed late 1980 by three braille translators (Glenn Dallender - guitar, most vocals, Martin O’Keefe-Liddard -bass, and Steve Empson - guitar), an employee at their favorite pub The Old Red Lion (Tilly Vosburgh), and drummer Vince Brown. After their demo tape was approved and praised by Peel, the band put together their first studio songs at Starforce Studios in London, and released their only seven-inch through the short-lived Jungle Records, run by Glenn’s friends and now ex-wife.
Prisoners and Hour of Light were both inspired by stories Glenn read in the paper, thus the reissue's title, Breaking News. Anxious and nervous, dark-bent post punk with enough doses of psychedelic rock constitute The Antelopes' sound which cites influences from the classicality of The Doors, and the edge of their contemporaries such as The Cure. The four previously unreleased studio tracks expose the more danceable aspect of the band's lively post punk, while the sax-based live instrumental Night Yak in Leningrad comes with a rather unusual Arabic touch.

Tilly offers more detail on the band's early days: "I met Steve, Martin and Glenn while I was working as a barmaid in The Old Red Lion pub in Islington, when they used to come in at lunchtime while working at the RNIB. Steve asked me to join his band The Christmas Trees as the lead vocalist. I was already in a band, The Spies, as their sax player and backing vocalist, so I was in both bands for a bit. The Christmas Trees were short lived, but pretty closely followed by what was to become The Antelopes. Steve and I were going out at this stage. The band was together for a while before I joined, and I remember being very chuffed to be asked, as I always thought Martin and Glenn were really brilliant blokes. I remained with the Spies throughout this time, which were my main band really, but the Antelopes were also very dear to my heart, and I thought Glenn's songwriting was phenomenal and they were all ridiculously talented."

Together with the Breaking News compilation, Floating Mill Records has also reissued Prisoners / Hour of Light as a seven-inch vinyl. Both releases are fine documentations of a post punk intricacy which deserves to remain brought to the surface.

All photos courtesy of Floating Mill Records

Floating Mill Records Bandcamp

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