Antennas to Heaven were formed in 2005 when musical genius David Smith and tortured wordsmith Phil Hodgson were employed by the UK government in the North East of England to work on a top secret project (basically data entry) after University. They bonded over number cards, tea breaks and the regular, now legendary, lunchtime performances of local experimental street musician Kevin Lipobay. One fateful day, a performance of Frosty the Snowman led to the genesis of an idea – that being Antennas to Heaven.
Fuelled by Smith’s encyclopaedic knowledge of post-rock music, and Hodgson’s frequent bouts of navel-gazing, several sounds began to occur. These sounds morphed in the group’s debut album The Line between Myth and Reality Has Always Been in Finland (2006) which mixed shifting soundscapes, rambling spoken word vocals and numerous texts searching for titles. Much furore surrounded the release, and when I say much furore I mean their friends were highly amused by the project.
The band’s follow up album, Hermeneutics (2007), introduced a greater electronic presence into the work, along with the image of a giant prawn baby in a pram. This was followed in 2012 with You Have 6 Weeks to Destroy Everything, in which Hodgson invented time travel but decided to use it. A side project under the name The Spinoza State also happened.
Live appearances by Antennas to Heaven remain rare, with the pair only infrequently being in the same post code. Hodgson remains a recluse, while Smith suffers from a rare, debilitating illness which leaves him terrified of the colour white and unable to leave the house.
The band’s sound has been compared to that of Mogwai, Arab Strap and the stuff you hear in the background of adverts. Both members of Antennas to Heaven, meanwhile, have also been called Dave to their faces (Phil’s elder brother was also a David, and teachers seemed to confuse them both... Or maybe they saw the musical future that lay ahead of them). Only one member has ever been called Cylla.
Antennas to Heaven continue to work and make sounds in the North East of England. David lives in a completely blue house with the world’s third-largest collection of biscuits. Phil still dreams of a day in which Graeme Hick will return and make everything alright again.