Double Egg with Chips and Beans and a Tea (2006)

– Antique Seeking Nuns

Second of three releases by this little-known, fine British quartet, consisting of: Joff Winks-guitar and vocals, Matt Baber-Fender Rhodes, synths and piano, Paul Mallyon-drums and Brad Waissman-bass. I was pointed in their direction by Steve Davis, Snooker champion and all around champion of progressive, prog music and he was right! “Right about what?”, you may ask. That they were band that managed to take some of the most quintessencially ‘British’ (and to my mind, the most charming) aspects of UK progressive rock (think the song stylings of Richard Sinclair with Caravan or Hatfield or early Robert Wyatt) and graft them onto a more contemporary sound that is perhaps a bit more avant-progressive in nature as well as including influences that have nothing to do with ‘progrock’ (Tortoise! Flaming Lips!, etc), all leavened by some Zappa-ish instrumental complexity and assuredness. What do you have? A total winner. If you want the big story of this band (why they released 3 EPs over a 5 year period and why they have now decided to call themselves “Sanguine Hum”…well, you’ll have to buy “Careful, It’s Tepid”, their third and final release, which has 3 pages of tiny type explaining why they have done a bunch of things that are completely silly in terms of career, but which actually mean nothing to you or me. But if you want great music, just buy this! Highly recommended!

“Antique Seeking Nuns was a band project that existed between 2001 and 2009, initially based around the composing/performing duo of Joff Winks and Matt Baber and later expanding to include Paul Mallyon on Drums and Brad Waissman on Bass. The band released three EP’s that stylistically responded to the challenges laid down by artists such as Frank Zappa and Hatfield and the North: music that is cerebral yet heartfelt, often complicated yet still pushing melody to the centre stage, and perhaps most controversially, taking a surreal and understated approach to the lyrics and presentation, often humorous in effect but with no loss in creative impact.Although definitely influenced and perhaps defined by the past, Antique Seeking Nuns can be best viewed alongside artists such as Tortoise and the Flaming Lips: a post-rock group entirely and successfully absorbing its prog-rock influences into something new. An ever growing network of listeners continue to be drawn into the Nuns’ music by the aforementioned off-hand lyrical style of songs such as Double Egg and Little Machines which soften the blow of the more intense pieces such as Shatner’s Bassoon and Dead Cheese that set new standards in adventurous and demanding rock based composition.”

Steve Feigenbaum