The Amazons Headline the Camden Roundhouse, 20/10/22
Reading Festival, August 2017, was the first time I ever encountered The Amazons. Dragged along to a packed-out Festival Republic tent with zero expectations, a young fresh-faced band from Reading walked onto the stage. I had no idea how many times after that I would see them again or how they would go on to influence me artistically.
Fast forward to October 2022.
As the pre-gig playlist faded out and the lights came down, a rumble began to erupt from the speaker stacks. The sub intensifies as two windows on the background of the stage glow; for many, the first indicator is that this was a new era for the band we were already familiar with. Lead guitarist Chris was the first to embark upon the stage, immediately the opening riff from their title track “How Will I Know” rings out.
Soon after the rest of the band joins him, to a roar from the crowd. “How Will I Know” is a perfect opener, a tune that you can belt your lungs out to. The lively start continues into “Ready for something”, another song with such a strong opening riff, certainly a skill that The Amazons have mastered.
Next up, continuing the momentum of the gig was “Ultraviolet”, “25” and “In My Mind” before my personal favourite off the new album “One By One”. This is a song that from the first time I heard it back at 2000 Trees earlier this summer, left me haunted and has a special place over their entire discography. I’m delighted to say that in the environment of a Headline gig it lived up to every expectation I had of how it should sound. The addition of an additional guitarist certainly contributed to it with such a powerful close to the track.
“Northern Star” followed filling the lighters out, a singalong gap previously left by “palace” which was notably absent from the set on this tour. Although we did get 5 tracks from the debut album I can’t help but feel like a few deep cuts would have been a nice addition perhaps even “Millions”.
Despite my personal preference of standing from a safe distance at gigs, I couldn’t help myself but get into the mixer for “Doubt It” and “Mother”, tracks that always send crowds wild. A bit of jumping around and a couple of pits sent me retreating back to the sanctum of my group of friends. The energy that The Amazons bring to their live performances is utterly infectious. Even without throwing yourself into mosh pits, you feel that you could close your eyes and the sound will just go through you. Truly a credit to the technical ability and talent of all members.
Before a well-needed encore, we were treated to “Junk Food Forever” with a “Back In Black” AC-DC intro. A nice touch but I can’t hide my envy at Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle who all got city-specific covers of Peace, Travis and Sam Fender tracks respectively. Would be incredibly harsh of me to complain considering the length and quality of the set we had regardless.
Closing the set post encore was the first single from this latest album “Bloodrush” and fan favourite “Black Magic”. Almost a perfect way to end in my opinion, where they are now and where they came from, a reminder for those dedicated fans of what the band they love so dearly has achieved and how far they have come.
Whilst writing this article it was announced via the band’s social media platforms that Josef Emmett would be leaving The Amazons with immediate effect to focus on his family. We of course send nothing but our best to Joe, his family, and the rest of the boys.
Long live The Amazons.
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