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ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Antique Seeking Nuns biography
Founded in Oxfordshire, UK in 2001 - Disbanded in 2009

ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS are a project with roots back to the youth of Matt Baber (keyboards) and Joff Winks (guitar, vocals). Hailing from the Oxford region they were school friends when the first artistical experiences started as so-called 'bedroom musicians'. They improvised song material oriented at Frank Zappa and Hatfield And The North as well as Aphex Twin, Tortoise, The Flaming Lips. That would form the basis of the three following EP releases.

The first one to derive from this writing sessions was 'Mild Profundities' (2003) which is basically presenting the future direction of all Baber/Winks collaborations. Expanded to a quartett with Paul Mallyon (drums) and Brad Waissman (bass) ASN are presenting five songs holding a lot of electronica elements - stylistically also pointing to their future ambient/cinematic styled NUNBIENT project.

In 2004 during a lull in the JOFF WINKS BAND the second ASN EP 'Double Egg With Chips And Beans' was recorded in a single day. Subsequently released by the Troopers For Sound label and much more canterbury influenced it could reach for some acclaim by prog rock websites and reviewers. September 2009 finally shows the last release of the band's trilogy called 'Careful! It's Tepid'.

This is the final statement, the closing word on this ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS chapter. The musicians went on to new horizons to form a band called SANGUINE HUM which should not only cary forward past influences but also allows them to concentrate all of their creative efforts.

ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS are recommended to fans of eclectic heartfelt songs with the focus on canterbury elements.

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Double Egg With Chips And Beans (And A Tea)Double Egg With Chips And Beans (And A Tea)
EP
Troopers For Sound
$24.99
$29.99 (used)
Careful! It's TepidCareful! It's Tepid
2009
$24.99
$17.50 (used)

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ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS discography


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3.67 | 23 ratings
Mild Profundities
2003
4.24 | 30 ratings
Double Egg With Chips And Beans
2006
4.03 | 22 ratings
Careful! It's Tepid
2009

ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Careful! It's Tepid by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
4.03 | 22 ratings

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Careful! It's Tepid
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars It's a sad thing that a brilliant band like this never really caught on and could only put out 3 EPs of excellent music. Over the course of these three EPs, we end up with music that could be combined onto one album to make a perfect 5 star album of perfectly crafted and slightly satirical and progressive Canterbury music. But, we have to take what we can get, and 3 short EP's released between the years of 2003 to 2009 are all we are going to get from this innovative band.

'Careful! It's Tepid' was the last of the 3 EPs. After this EP, the famous duo of Baber and Winks would go on to form the band 'Sanguine Hum', which is interesting music in and of itself. This little EP starts with 'Leave Us a Message' which begins with a simple acoustic guitar and vocals, but gets joined by all the rest of the band shortly, with their nice sound of folk and jazz thrown together in a tasty combination supported by guitars and keyboards. 'The Foulness! The Stench!' is a quick instrumental track with a nice simple keyboard melody surrounded by a mellotron and a happy feeling not reflected in the title.

'Dead Cheese' is more complex with guitar and a complex tonal percussive riff. The track is a great example of the progressiveness of the band and has a bit of heaviness to it. This also proves that this band was amazing. The meter is tricky and the instrumentation is quirky and it is all under-layed with a jazz sense. 'The Bearded Bag Lady' continues with the jazz fusion feel, this time it is with a mellower approach with plenty of the happy tonal percussion. 'Ointment for Flies' is the other song with lyrics and nice harmony. More of that rock and jazz fusion with complex and out-of-the-ordinary sound.

You could try to explain what this music is like and who to compare it to, but it would be tough. Take some of Frank Zappa's jazz music and mix it with The Flaming Lips and mellow it down a bit with Super Furry Animals, then add a bit more complexity and you might have something close. The best way to administer this music to yourself is to try to find all three EPs and play them one after the other. Oh for the day when all of this will be re-released on one single album, preferable on vinyl. But for now, we will just have to do it all digitally. By the way, the only reason it is rated at 4 stars is because it is an EP and way too short.

 Double Egg With Chips And Beans by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
4.24 | 30 ratings

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Double Egg With Chips And Beans
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

3 stars This second EP from ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS was (at least to me) not as interesting as the first one, but that does not suggest it is a bad record. The essence and influence of the classic Canterbury Scene bands is notorious, but it is also notorious that these guys were making something brand new. I can hear a very clear influence from bands like National Health and Picchio dal Pozzo, maybe there is, maybe not.

I can't believe it took me so long to hear these guys' music. With this EP and the first one they have become one of my favourite Canterbury Scene bands, I wish they had recorded an actual album, that would be really amazing. However, I'll only give it three stars, because it is not an essential piece of Prog Rock music.

 Mild Profundities by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.67 | 23 ratings

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Mild Profundities
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

3 stars Well, this is not an album but only an EP, so we can't expect to get the same satisfaction that an actual album can bring, it ends very soon, when we are just starting to get interested (or at least that happened to me).

The music is great, this four musicians had made an amazing work; the songs are short (for a Prog Rock band) but are also very well played and interesting (they don't become boring).

Canterbury Scene gave us its most amazing bands in the seventies, but this young guys from this century have made something very unique. Maybe if they would have recorded a few more songs and they have made a whole album starting with the idea of this EP the results would have been even more interesting. They had a great potential.

I'll rate this EP with three stars.

 Double Egg With Chips And Beans by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
4.24 | 30 ratings

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Double Egg With Chips And Beans
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars Wow, this is good stuff and I'm not talking about the plate of food on the album cover. This is all top notch music and it's a shame that all we got from this band were 3 E.Ps, but they are chock full of amazing music. Not only is there a Canterbury sound here, but the music is also tinged with the right amount of jazz and neo-prog. These are humorous songs with lyrics that could have come from 10cc but the musicianship is what I wish 10cc had, but for the most part, didn't. Then at least we would have had a lot more of this music to listen to. Another reviewer said that the best way to listen to these songs is to put all 3 E.P.s together on one disc so that you had a full album's worth of excellent music and I would agree wholeheartedly with this.

The first two tracks are complex progressive numbers with a full band, the 3rd is a nice soft piano-led instrumental and the 4th track a full-band FZ inspired instrumental. What you get here is a thimble-full of excellent prog music. When I saw this was considered Canterbury, I expected something akin to Blondel with acoustic instruments and folk-sounding vocals. That's a completely false idea. This music is mostly electric, probably closer to Spock's Beard but much better and more authentic, plus the vocals are not as annoying. How can it be that more people haven't discovered this?

Highly recommended music to all. There is nothing really difficult to grasp in this music, but it is conventional prog at it's finest. Well-done and these nuns are definitely worth seeking. 5 stars. Not too many E.P.s out there can have the distinction of being rated 5 stars. The only other one I can think of is from GY!BE. Find this now and let's form a revolution to get more music like this! I can't do this on my own people!

 Mild Profundities by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.67 | 23 ratings

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Mild Profundities
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This British group from South Oxfordshire begun life in 2001 by school friends Matt Baber (keyboards) and Joff Winks (vocals,guitar).At the same time they established the Troopers for Sound label in order to promote their albums on their own forces.The line-up was completed with bassist Brad Waissman and drummer Paul Mallyon and in January 2003 the first EP of the group sees the light under the title ''Mild Profundities''.

Five tracks and 25 minutes of dreamy, contemporary Progressive Rock with an obvious Canterbury influence was the proposal of Antique seeking Nuns in their debut, definitely a very attractive and special blend of two different worlds.The overall approach is atmospheric, esoteric and highly ethereal with strong Post Rock and Art Rock vibes in the vein of TORTOISE and RADIOHEAD, but what really makes the difference is Baber's unique keyboard offerings, as the notes seem lost somewhere in an old Canterbury Prog album.The guitars are distorted and sharp, the rhythm section is hypnotic and the band uses a lot of electronic effects, on the other hand the keyboards have a strong 70's approach.Beautiful instrumental themes with nervous synths, vibraphone and piano add to the album a beautiful vintage feeling.Finally the vocals are also quite sensitive, clear and warm to complete a nice first effort by Antique seeking Nuns.

Not your ordinary Post and Art Rock affair.If you can imagine a combination of contemporary, atmospheric Progressive Rock full of Canterbury-like keyboard textures and this seems cool in the paper for you, ''Mild Profundities'' is definitely an album to go after.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Careful! It's Tepid by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
4.03 | 22 ratings

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Careful! It's Tepid
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Never-ending excitement

Finishing up their ep trilogy, we find Careful it's Tepid with yet another catchy, melodic, humorous, bouncy, well-written, suave, cool, fun, jazzy, rockin', danceable, propelling, British, low brow, twitchy, infectious and intriguing release!

This is indeed Canterbury for the modern peeps out there, and while you quite easily spot the quirky shifts and turns of said genre - the inevitable British 'ratherness' and poise, you are also served with that special flavouring that runs through the two eps leading up to this. Sure you get lots of exotic touches - be that marimbas or xylophone meanderings cooking up a melodic storm, as well as the remnants of classic bands such as Hatfield and the North and Caravan especially in the frolicking electric piano or almost reggae like rhythm sways of gutar, - yet there's always that sense of futuristic refinement - at times akin to Porcupine Tree. Still you won't find any straight up references here, because everything seems to be kneaded into the batter in a way that makes the instruments and feel endemic to the band. It's the combination of well-known musical ingredients that together form this awe-inspiring act. Hell, just like any other unique band out there - or every little thing in the universe for that matter - everything is put together by small invisible building blocks - we as humans have alarmingly much in common dna wise with an everyday coffee-table, but it is the way the little molecular suckers are put together that in the end defines them and magically creates diversity and difference. Music is no stranger to this concept.

I rate this just as highly as the debut ep, and just like John here, I too like to listen to all of these in one setting - making for a brilliant full scale album. Together these 3 releases would get a masterpiece rating in no time. Even for people who find little of interest inside the strange and oddly bouncy pastures of Canterbury, -YOU my dears are probably going to love this band. In fact I'll wager my cut of Borneo and throw in a couple of sand-arrows to boot - you'll like this. It's music for an evening out on a boat - or spent lying on a floor somewhere. You could also use it for a hovercraft soundtrack, but whatever you do - listen to the bloody thing! Get excited about the music -jump, dance, sing and remember how you felt back when you slushed around in the kiddy sized plastic pool... That is essentially what I get from these guys.

 Double Egg With Chips And Beans by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
4.24 | 30 ratings

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Double Egg With Chips And Beans
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars The Breakfast Record

I may just have found one of my new favourite bands here! Continuing with their incredible melodic approach, Antique Seeking Nuns' second ep is nothing short of amazing. I keep whistling hooks and choruses off of these ep's whilst at work - so when I'm sitting on the see-saw or lying in a self made pillow castle, I'll suddenly be whistling or singing absurd lines about eggs and cheese. The kids love it though, but then again they tend to love people who love music - whatever that music may be. Music makes us better human beings - let's just face it.

There's an emphasis on electric keyboard and piano here driving the tracks forth with a hard edged guitar howling and grunting - backing up the sprawling rhythm section with some crunchy riffing. Speaking about those guitars, I do feel they've been incorporated more into the mix on this one - sometimes even relegating a distinctive lead role akin to a Canterbury version of Jimi Hendrix - without ever really bursting into a solo on their own. They're teasing and twisting, though never convoluted and obscure - as a matter of fact, you won't find anything on here that makes your brain catapult and somersault in sheer impossible gymnastics. The songwriting is just too good and honest for that to happen, and the prevailing carefree attitude and general feel good vibe trumps any other hidden agendas.

Like the first ep, this one too sports the Monty Pythonesque humour - with loads of priceless one liners and tongue in cheek lyrics, - yet just like the predecessor, Double Egg with Chips and Beans steers clear off all the loose mumbo jumbo - and does actually on occasion shift to utter beauty - remarkable stunning piano textures that alone twinkle twinkle little star - like serenading the moon in a cold windless night. Goosebumps for sure.

So this record is really a tale of two cities, where the fun maniacal tendencies intertwine most successfully with the grown up persuasive sprees of bone-chilling music. On the last cut this meeting is at its most obvious, as the music itself incorporates both sides of the fence - taking in the calypso vibe of the xylophone and mixing it with a mad swaying duo of soloing guitar and a synthesizer that both rise and rise - continuing to do so until they form some kind of rhythm foundation, whilst still continuing to float and bob relentlessly. This is just out of this world, and I commend any band who are able to stay this tight and focused while venturing out on ledges - playing unconventionally effervescent and soaring.

Like I said in my previous review of this band, I find it hard picturing myself rating an ep with 5 stars, but this one truly questions my reasoning. It's fun, engaging, memorable, melodic like you wouldn't believe and then some. The perfect soundtrack for sunshine, chocolate women and colourful drinks with umbrellas. Now how's that sound for a breakfast eh? Hell I'll give it 4.5 stars...

 Mild Profundities by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.67 | 23 ratings

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Mild Profundities
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Modern Canterbury

This band caught me completely off guard! Expecting some kind of fruity musical obscenities akin to Frank Zappa with a hefty wagon full of retro prog, I then got something completely different.

Yes this is Canterbury, and while this particular brand of music has become something of a rare breed these days, it does my heart and ears good to know that people out there in the wide world still are experimenting with things like this old English fusion twist.

Sure, like others here have mentioned - most notably John(thanks buddy for letting me know about this fantastic band!), there are heaps of black unbridled humour going on - I mean just take a look at the manly nun presented on the art work... Then you have the lyrics that successfully continue this rather peculiar image right down to the t, but to these ears at least, that is not really what this band is all about. Peel away the meaning of the words, and you get intelligent songwriting with beautifully sung vocals - writhing over and under each other in blissful harmonies. Twinkling guitars, understated but effectively right there leading these tunes into well orchestrated choruses and instrumental sections, that for some inexplicable reason make me think of Caravan, although Antique Seeking Nuns sound altogether differently. I guess it has something to do with the sparingly usage of synths and soloing organs - that very distinctively highlights the individual peaks hiding within the tunes here - making them glisten and shine like a pair of wax jeans. Caravan did this as well, and I for one just love music that lifts the heritage of something that perhaps is even more rare within the modern prog rock scene than the odd Canterbury act - subtlety, and making it work. One of the key ingredients for me here are those electronics and the way they infuse larval creeping textures into the music. On the surface of things, they might seem out of place, but when you've heard more than 10 seconds of it, you suddenly realise just how important they are to the overall picture here. Yummy yum yum!

Imagine a quirkier more uplifting fusion take on Porcupine Tree - and then add a natural flow to the proceedings that reek of mature songwriting and subtle instrumentations, and you effectively get this band. I can't imagine ever giving an EP masterpiece status, but I will say that this is just about the closest I have ever come. By far one of the most enthralling musical surprises I have encountered in a long time, and I strongly urge anyone with an affinity for Canterbury to hunt this one down. It truly offers a parallel reality of what this style can be - and furthermore does it eloquently and addictively. Currently I have been humming, singing, whistling the melodies off of this release like a confused wasp in love. It genuinely is that good. I want a full album of it please!!!!!

 Mild Profundities by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
3.67 | 23 ratings

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Mild Profundities
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars The first Antique Seeking Nuns EP links up with the Canterbury scene.

It is a strange EP from a strange band. A band later morphed into Sanguine Hum and embracing the more commercial world of neo-prog in the process. Commercial is not this EP at all. It has it's base in the Canterbury scene. The more jazzy, but not so avant-garde part of Canterbury, that is. But this EP also have one foot in the post rock genre. The whole ethos seems post rock to me. But Frank Zappa too has made an impression on this band.

The opening instrumental track It's Pissing Don is excellent with it's mix of jazz, Canterbury and post rock. The following songs, some of them are vocals based, are also great, but not in the same class.

This twenty-six minutes long EP is a small jewel from England and one well worth purchasing. An email to the band should do the trick.

4 stars

 Careful! It's Tepid by ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
4.03 | 22 ratings

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Careful! It's Tepid
Antique Seeking Nuns Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars The final EP from one of perhaps the last ever British Canterbury scene bands.

It is a great shame that not more bands takes up the baton laid down by the likes of Caravan, Gilgamesh, Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt. Instead, we get a lot of new bands playing either symph prog or female vocalist fronted bands playing a mix of AOR and neo-prog. That market is over crowded in my view. Why not follow in Antique Seeking Nuns footsteps ?

With song titles like The Bearded Bag Lady, you know you are in for something weird. The music on this far too short EP is a mix of Canterbury and post rock. It is full of small details wrapped up in quirky great melodies. The vocals are great. The musicians does a brilliant job too. The music is both guitar based and full of quirky tangents too. There is a lot of great ideas here and they all comes of brilliantly.

I would unashamed brand Antique Seeking Nuns as one of the best and biggest secrets in the British music scene. Their three EPs is most definate worth going for, whatever the costs (hint, hint..... an email to the band Sanguine Hum, see interview, will probably do).

Great stuff !

4 stars

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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