Saturday, March 11, 2017

Live Review :: The Amazons :: Whelan’s, Dublin - Mar 7 2017


The Amazons

Whelan’s, Dublin

March 7 2017

Words/Pictures: Richard Cobb

Whilst a large portion of  BBC’s ‘The Sound of…’ generally disappear into the back pockets of worried record label bigwigs each year along with a big pile of rocks, never to be seen or heard of again a year later, there’s a few bands on the longlist that stand out and there’s something different and genuinely exciting about them. Last year there was Blossoms, 2015 there was Wolf Alice, and this year it’s The Amazons.

The first thing I noticed when I trudged in from the Dublin rain into Whelan’s for the gig was that the audience was hugely diverse. It was an over-18’s gig, but there was a wide range, not only in age, but also in appearance of the audience, showcasing that The Amazons weren’t just appealing to one genre or a specific target audience. An incredibly important factor for a new band and in a similar vein to the wide spread interest Royal Blood garnered a few years ago.

As the band took to the stage, the downstairs of the venue was absolutely rammed and the energy was bursting through the roof for the Reading band’s first ever Irish headline show. New single and early set highlight ‘Black Magic’ ("a song about unrequited live") was ear-drum massacring loud in every department. The driving guitar, drum and bass on the song at times was reminiscent of Daft Punk’s 'Robot Rock' with more grit and ferocity.

Without wanting to come across all 1920’s, It was unusual to be at a gig where the guys were dancing and singing along more than the girls, with some let’s say, unique, dance moves on show from one wildly exuberant gentleman in the audience. The audience participation throughout didn’t go unnoticed on stage either, with frontman Matt Thomson appearing genuinely surprised and humbled at the turnout for their first headline show on the emerald isle. This shouldn’t be a shock to the band as the majority of their UK and Ireland tour has long been sold out. With each track there’s an urgency and it could quite easily have been a greatest hits set, which for a band yet to release a debut album is a phenomenal achievement and something that can’t be ignored.

One of the best crowd reactions on the night for their 10-song set was for ‘Little Something,’ which could frankly be deemed carnage. By the time the band had started on their heavy duty ‘In My Mind’ (which they describe as one of their most personal and cathartic songs) I had gravitated towards the back of the venue for a breather where I was met by people frantically drumming along, on the bar top, on the walls and basically anything within arms reach to the song. Jason Boland of Irish rockers Kodaline, may not have had his air guitar out, but the bassist looked like he also was enjoying every minute of what this band were offering.

For the duration of the 45-minute set there was not a weak link to be seen in the band, and as a unit they play like a caged wild animal - testament to the three years the band have been gigging and refining the sound in their current line-up. Closing on crowd favourites 'Junk Food Forever' and 'Something In The Water', the crowd could not have asked for more as the final notes of latter brought one final frenzied reaction.

Revealing exclusively that their debut album will be out in June this year, make a point of getting down early to see these guys in a tent at a festival this year, before they gravitate to the main stage next year.

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