Following the release of their third record ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?’, The Amazons came to Southampton Guildhall as part of a 12 date UK tour and treated their fans to an anthem packed set.
This is The Amazons’ first-post pandemic headline tour and the band’s excitement for their return was matched in the cheers of the audience as the rock quartet took to the stage. Opening with title track ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?’, this was followed up with the brilliant ‘Ready for Something’. With frontman Matt Thompson immediately taking the opportunity to get on familiar terms with the audience as he enters the pit to join the fans on the barrier!
This sets the tone for the evening, in what becomes a very intimate and personal performance for band & audience. With Matt describing the communal experience of performing live music to an audience as ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’, and how Southampton is familiar territory for the band having previously played at The Joiners, The Engine Rooms and the Guildhall.
The new album has a more melodic and romantic feel than its predecessors, and the tracks on the setlist showcased this perfectly. ‘Northern Star’ is a gorgeously, sincere love song that demanded the attention of the entire room. First with mobile phones aloft like lanterns in the sky, then followed by a full room singalong of the chorus, simply beautiful.
‘Say It Again’, ‘One by One’ and ‘Night Driving’ captured the acoustic-driven direction of the record, with guitarist Chris Alderton on mandolin and drummer Joe Emmett on tambourine. Bassist Elliot Briggs completes the quartet.
Woven in and around this acoustic section were the bands well-known hard-hitting hits, including ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘Mother’, along with guitar riff laden (mosh pit erupting) versions of ‘Doubt It’ & ‘Stay With Me’.
The bands encore was pitched perfectly, as they returned to the stage with the anthemic ‘Bloodrush’ complete with the audience chanting the bellowing chorus, to be followed by undoubtedly their biggest fan favourite in ‘Black Magic’.
The Amazons have established as prime spot as one of the UK’s best indie bands, and on this performance, it is clear that they are going from strength to strength.
The bands support for this tour is managed in partnership with BBC Introducing, with different local bands added to the line-up for each date. Tonight, they were supported by IOW quartet Coach Party, who treated the early doors crowd to a fine set including ‘Everybody Hates Me’, Feels Like a Girl’ and latest single ‘Weird Me Out’.
Photos by Mark Butler