The UK has a great tradition of classic pop craftsmen with a gift for melody and melancholy, and to the list of inspiration stretching back from the Beatles to The Beautiful South via The Blue Nile we can add the formidable talent of Josh Yeomans and his band Man Antique.
Although the band name is suggestive of nostalgia or perhaps even cutting sociological comment, Man Antique mines an emotional vein which chimes universally. Elegant, heartfelt, crafted pop which is epic and yet intimate, the music springs from the slightly bruised soul. Stratford-upon-Avon-based Yeomans taught himself music on the piano and rhythm on the drum kit, then spent time in promising but short-lived bands. Time away song-writing and refocusing was called for. Yeomans jammed ideas with former Dodgy mainman Nigel Clarke, collected a set’s worth of songs and assembled a band around him, drafting in guitarist Olly Green, bassist Alex Gillespie and drummer Josh Bennett to form a live unit.
And so after what Yeomans describes as “the tricky walk to the present time” the debut EP presents the Man Antique musical manifesto – quirky elegant pop which runs from the heartfelt vibe of early Coldplay to the direct fizz of McFly, with a healthy lustre of classic English melancholia, a vibrant optimism tinged with the wistful backward glance. The song Maps offers the heartfelt enquiry “Can you help me find my map because I got lost along the way?” Man Antique have found their path, and it will pay to watch where they go.
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