Monday, February 27, 2017

Live Review :: Amber Run :: O2 Forum, London - Feb 25 2017


Amber Run 

O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London

February 25 2017

Words: Jess Sharrock
Pictures: Elliott Unger

By the reception that greeted Nottingham's Amber Run on taking to the stage for a sold-out London show at the Kentish Town Forum, you would have been forgiven for thinking these were local lads made good, returning the conquering heroes. For the final night of their UK tour, the band left nothing out as they celebrated the release of their new album, ‘For A Moment, I Was Lost’. And for much more than just a mere moment, the crowed too were completely lost in the show.

A lot has happened in between their first and second albums, from being dropped by their record label and the departure of a drummer, but Amber Run seem to have bounced back with not a half-hearted whimper, but a full on bang. Is it safe to say that all the travails have made them a better band? Maybe, because their new album is pretty darned good and they have an army of dedicated fans backing them who have continued to follow them throughout.

Support on their headline show came from Bristol-based pop duo Meadowlark who brought their guitar and piano harmonies to town, and mellow London-based (by-way-of-Oxford) foursome Island. They both seemed to get the fans ready and excited for the appearance of the main act.

Joe Keogh, Will Jones, Tomas Sperring and Henry Wyeth - collectively known as Amber Run - were welcomed on stage to massive screams and cheers as they kicked off the set with ‘Spark’. And 'spark' it did; 'letting the light in', as they ran through this and then ‘Pilot’, the crowd didn't need more encouragement to fall into a dancing, singing throng. ‘Insomniac’ - said to be the band's favourite - brought hands together in the crowd, while on stage the drums and keys components carried it along.

They went on to play a mix of songs from both their old and new albums, including ‘Just My Soul Responding’ and ‘Heaven’. Keogh delivers the emotive lyrics to ‘Stranger’ in a beguiling way that is not lost on the crowd. ‘Fickle Game’ and ‘Dark Bloom’ stand as high points, as does their old familiar, 'Noah', their debut single of almost four years ago. Each song, old or new, receiving an incredible reaction from the fans, who were quite impressively singing each song, word perfect.

As they come to the end of the set there was no way they were getting away from this buoyed up audience without an encore. When they return to the stage, it is for a three-song goodnight: Firstly, the beautiful and emotional ‘Haze’, followed by possibly the most well-known song from the band, ‘I Found’, and finally the exciting new track, ‘No Answers’, whose lyrics speak for themselves ("I know you, but I don’t want to/Because people like you never change/I forgive you, but I can’t forget you/ Because the things you said, are etched inside my brain") as Keogh somehow manages to burn the emotional content into the listener's consciousness.

The band showed genuine thanks to its supporters and they seemed very humbled - and slightly teary it appeared - by the whole experience. As indeed were many of us gathered in front of the stage as we filed out into the dark February night, still wrapped in an amber glow.

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