It was the glorious surround of the avant garde Mama Roux’s in Digbeth that greeted the newest kids on the block, The Amazons to Brummyland on Tuesday night.
If you’ve not had the pleasure of attending a gig at Madame R’s then you need to. Music aside it’s a visual treat combining quintessential French design, your Grandma’s home – curtains and all, with the film set from a Mexican B movie. Gloriously unique is an understatement.
Support came in the guise of Young Braves. If there’s a band to make you feel old, these are the boys! Barely out of short trousers and still a little away from having to shave daily, their tender years mattered not a jot as they produced a really polished set of melodic indie pop tunes, which was extremely well received by the sold out crowd…
Onto the main event and the band being touted by pretty much everyone, The Amazons. Not since Catfish and the Bottlemen exploded on the music scene has there been such a buzz about a ‘new’ band. Having spent the best part of the previous month listening to them on Soundcloud and Spotify, it’s easy to see why. Rifftastic, upbeat and cracking tunes, I was keeping my fingers firmly crossed that this would translate to the live arena.
By their own admission (we nattered after) it was a slow start. Kicking things off with current Radio One fave ‘Black Magic’ should have absolutely had the partisan crowd moshing away from the first minute, but it just seemed to be one of those openings where things didn’t spark right from the off. Put it down to experience boys – surely a momentary blip.
Having interviewed lead singer Dan a few weeks previously I was really keen for them to deliver. Not just because I’m a fan of their music, but because he’s a genuinely nice guy. Articulate, intelligent and cheeky – all characteristics which come through in their stage show and their music where they combine riff laden, beefy guitar runs akin to Royal Blood, combined with the melodic qualities of the Bottlemen. Luckily, for everyone involved, it didn’t take the Reading quartet long to find their stride and by the time they burst into the ridiculously catchy ‘Stay With Me’ the crowd and the band were pogoing in unison. Like good uns! Splendid stuff!
Unlike many bands who have gone before them who are ‘the next big things’ the Amazons have a number of subtle differences, meaning they are better placed to fulfill their early promise. Firstly they’ve got the tunes – already armed with 5 or 6 real belters! Secondly they’ve put in the groundwork – this being the 8th time they’ve played the Second city, many of their previous visits being in smaller venues. Finally they seem to have maintained more than a semblance of normality and have avoided the knob-headedness that seems to have afflicted so many that have gone before them. Nowhere was this more evident than when they spent time after the gig signing autographs and posing for selfies with fans. Nice touch gents.
The second half of the gig was like night and day compared to the opening. Lucozade must have kicked in with the audience, the band’s fingers had evidently warmed up and it was a glorious cacophony of frenzied dancing, splendid pounding music and frenetic mayhem on the stage and off. Each tune seemed to build on the former, with the pacing, almost scary ‘Little Something’ smashing into ‘In My Mind’ which then led seamlessly into ‘Junk Food Forever’ – much to the delight of the crowd – all of whom were baying for more.
The somewhat ethereal ‘Something in the Water’ provided the encore and like the previous half a dozen offerings was lapped up by the grateful Brummies. Then that was that, lights on, exit doors opened, but not before the long haired singer had chance to throw himself into the crowd and offer cuddles to anyone who’d take one.