The Amazons review: Not a gig, but a statement of intent
- Credit: Archant
You may have not already heard of The Amazons, pinned as guitar music's revival, but the tastemasters certainly have. Since the launch of their top ten debut album just two years ago the Reading four piece have dominated every hotly-tipped list around town from the BBC's Sound of 2017 to NME and even The Telegraph's best albums of the year.
But at the LCR at the UEA on Wednesday night, the newcomer label was firmly shrugged off. This was not a gig, but a statement of intent.
The gig was introduced not by a B-side funk playlists - a tendency of musicians asserting their artistic credentials - but by quote in Southern American drawl I assume was from a film soundtrack. The voice boomed: "We are going in search of lightening" - which couldn't be truer of the band's electrifying performance.
Front man Matt Thomson flounced onto the stage in flares and a star spangled jacket. If the signs of a full-fledged rock group were not already apparent, then this certainly did the trick. The crowd appeared to read the memo too, and within seconds a mosh pit formed and a spiralling beer shot up in the air.
They launched straight into tracks from second album, Future Dust, which has a markedly heavier sound from the more indie-lite first album, The Amazons. Matt Thomson was revelling in it. He used the stage as an obstacle course, jumping from amps and swaggering over to guitarists Chris Alderton and Elliot Briggs and drummer Matt Thomson. Even a near stumble into the audience didn't dent his showmanship.
The band was keen to assert their new-found maturity. At various points in the gig, they touched on climate change and progress, if it was a little underdeveloped and more of a castaway. Track 'Georgia' was an incitement of 'change to come' - although what change was not specified. And, song 25, which proved Thomson's vocals are ready to hit the stadiums, was apparently a nod to Greta Thunberg. Again, it wasn't clear why and felt a tad superficial.
Crowdpleasers from the first album, like Black Magic, were saved for the encore. Bizarrely, they closed the main set with a medley of iconic rock songs from the likes of T-Rex and Black Sabbath. It felt a little out of place. The band, even with just two albums, have enough material to fill the nearly 90 minute set. But perhaps it was an indicator of things to come. If this gig was anything to go by, the band - who have very much landed - will be joining the medley in the not too distant future.