The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live: Amber Run

Amber Run’s strength lies their emotive, almost eerie resonance


4th April

Band on the Wall


XFM’s First Friday runs at Band on the Wall on the first weekend of every month, a night introduced to showcase up and coming bands.  Amber Run, one of the bands selected this month, showed that they were deserving of such exposure.  The Nottingham quintet, slotted to perform at festivals next month such as Liverpool Sound City, Live at Leeds, and Dot to Dot Manchester, gave audience members a chance to become fans of their melodic pop, which has been compared to the likes of Coldplay.

Frontman Joe Keogh began the thirty minute set advising audience members of the mixed relationship the band has had so far playing in Manchester- ‘every time we’ve played here we’ve sounded like shit, until now’- and in fact the band does vibe well together, creating an almost orchestral atmosphere with easy choruses that have even the mostly unfamiliar audience mouthing along.

Highlights of the gig include new single ‘Spark’, which has enough stadium presence that it could have been the final number, as well as another jazzier piece midway through, although the band’s performance as a whole remains solid and animated.  It’s clear that although only having been a band for a year, the quintet feels comfortable both with their own sound as well as in front of an audience.  Keogh has an impressive vocal range, which is on display especially on songs such as ‘Heaven’ and final number ‘Noah’, and additions of a tambourine allow for a real rhythm to develop throughout.  Their strength lies their emotive, almost eerie resonance, which promises to fill bigger venues in the future.  Although there is nothing unbelievably innovative or fresh about Amber Run, Keogh’s powerful vocals and the band’s cohesiveness paint great potential- definitely a band to watch for in the upcoming year.