The Antlers have always had something of a cult following, each fan cherishing their copy of Hospice on 12” as one of their most prized possessions. Its brilliance, sheer captivation, and unchallenged desire to avoid all other musical influences made it one of the best and most touching records of the last ten years. Follow up Burst Apart was much the same.

Any Antlers fan knows of their desire for the un-ordinary, cherishing the special little things in life that make it so. That seems as much the case with the band, as the announcement for a special, one-off, midnight show at Islington’s Screen on the Green caused fans to battle their way through online networks to desperately find tickets, only to find them sold out. Praised as being a very special band to watch live, tweets pried eagerly for hours before the doors opened (at a madly late 11:15), with everyone from industry to diehard fans succumbing to their lust for the act they were to see tonight.

And then, all of a sudden, it was time. The room was taken by an abrupt silence, a snappy “hello” and call to stance, and all of a sudden the tiny theatre descended into a midst of captivated fans. The band broke into ‘I Don’t Want Love’ and hearts instantly cowered for front man Peter Silberman. Pulses of muted snappy guitar tied the set together between tracks but at times they felt long, augmented and careless. The Antlers have always had a perfect sense for transition on the records, but this felt distorted. I don’t know if I was the only one, but a sense of awkwardness seemed to lower the tone of the set, the band forcing so much for this to be such a special, brilliant show that it just felt flat, as if they were trying too hard. Their fans know they’re brilliant already, so trying to mess too much with the specifics only made things feel less tentative. A subtle, special and truly mesmerising experience makes itself, it just happens; it can’t be forced to take place.

The surprising tinges of electronic processing live felt distant from those of the record, as though this was something of an adaptation of Burst Apart, but its free sense for improvisation opened things up completely, showing another side of The Antlers. A darker, more powerful band type Antlers, far from that of the hushed builds of Hospice.

What seemed to be set up as being so special, so intense, intimate and beautiful led to the gig’s own downfall. Over-hype can be difficult, especially with a band like The Antlers. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fantastic gig, and yes, and I did almost break a tear, but it just felt like it lacked that spark of greatness.