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Live Review: The Amazons

It’s Saturday night at the Albert Hall, and Reading-based band The Amazons are determined to bring a little old school rock ‘n’ roll to Manchester. Opening with upbeat single ‘Stay With Me’, they launch into a riff heavy set. The crowd immediately descends into a state of beer throwing rowdiness as teenagers, as well as a fair few enthusiastic twenty-somethings, rush to join the mosh pit.

‘Little Something’ is a highlight, with swirling guitars creating dark tension before the blistering drop. The crowd happily cooperates, singing along to the extended ending. It is welded with a cover of ‘20th Century Boy’ by T-Rex, demonstrating the band’s love for classic rock. The set also includes an old-school drum solo as Joe Emmett, the band’s drummer, is left on stage to show off his skills.  ‘Black Magic’ is also a high point, blending pounding bass and nimble guitars with a sing-along chorus, culminating in a glass-shattering ending.

Matt Thomson reflects back on the first time that they played a Manchester show – to a near empty Soup Kitchen for Dot to Dot festival. Indeed, their rise has been incredible, from playing at the Deaf Institute last April, to playing to rammed tents at Reading and Leeds, and releasing their debut album, which peaked at number 8 in the UK charts. They prove to have some old fans in the crowd, who sing along to 2016 single ‘Nightdriving’ word perfectly.

‘Palace’, the band’s most recent single is an angsty ballad which gives the moshers a rest break as Thomson sits down at a keyboard. Thomson’s vocals are strong, and Chris Alderton’s accompanying guitar is haunting, making the slightly unrefined lyrics forgivable.

The Amazons depart the stage before the encore, leaving the audience eagerly singing the chorus of ‘Junk Food Forever’, their oldest, most well-loved single and perhaps their defining single. The crowd descends into madness at the start of the track, each member clutching at their friends as the biting riff and stomping bass fill the building. The chorus is anthemic and, just as with ‘Little Something’ and ‘Black Magic’, the last minute or so of the song is particularly powerful.

Sure, the Amazons aren’t particularly ground breaking and they sometimes rely on their (admittedly catchy) riffs to carry them through, yet their tracks are a great soundtrack for rampaging with mates and starting a mad Saturday night.

7/10

Tags: albert hall, Matt Thomson, T-rex, The Amazons

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