On Thursday Storm Doris decided to make a visit to the UK. With wheelie bins flying down the street and constant rain we battled the elements (and cancelled trains) and made it to Manchester for Amber Run’s sold out show. Although the day was filled with stress, uncertainty and untameable windy hair it ended with a stellar gig that was well worth the trip.
Kicking off the night was Meadowlark. It felt like Déjà vu when the band came on stage since the last time I saw them live was when they were supporting Amber Run back in 2015 in Liverpool. But it was clear how much Meadowlark had grown as a band in the last 2 years. Their sound was more refined; the music and vocals blended together beautifully. Their set got everyone around me warmed up and bobbing along to the beat.
My best friend had been to the gig the night before in Leeds and had immediately messaged me afterwards about the second support band, ISLAND. “They’re definitely your cup of tea” she had told me and she was right. With a mixture of smooth indie melodies ISLAND delivered a powerful set which created a relaxed, but excited ambience in the room ready for the headliners.
By this point, the room was pretty much full and everyone was slowly inching their way closer to the stage. Amber Run were greeted with a roar from the crowd and the music began. Having seen Amber Run a few times before, I had no doubt that the set was going to be impressive. But with new songs and a slightly different line-up, I was interested to see how that would affect their live sound. If anything, the new music brought a fresh sound and feel to the band and it was probably the best I’ve seen them live so far.
No one could fault the vocals from the band. Joshua Keogh’s voice is so impressive, covering everything from the delicateness of ‘Haze’ to the more abrasive sound in ‘No Answers’. The harmonies in ‘I Found’ never fail to impress me when I hear it live and shows the natural talent the band possess.
The songwriting must also be praised. It’s clear that Amber Run have been on a long journey the past year and this shows through the new songs they played in their set. ‘Dark Bloom’ was a personal favourite of mine. The lyrics balanced perfectly over the melody as the song grew and gained momentum. Intertwined with the newer songs were still some old favourites such as ‘Noah’. As soon as the opening line was sung the energy in the room immediately increased and soon enough everyone was singing, dancing and clapping along to the chorus.
There wasn’t a moment when the crowd wasn’t engaged with the set and the guy behind me even greeted every song with, “this one’s a right tune!” He wasn’t wrong. Amber Run never fail to impress with their infectious tunes and charming personalities and Thursday night was no exception.