940Amber

FOR a group that has shifted between elation and disintegration quicker than an alcoholic rattling in a coffee shop, Nottingham-born indie-pop quartet Amber Run may have finally found some unshakable ground. A genuine surprise for a group pitched brashly into the ever-unhealthy realms of the music industry prats after a negligible five gigs, discarded months later with just a release to show for it. Drummer leaves. Band broken.

But despite these damnatory position, they rode a wave. And this wave refuses to wilt. Armed with their debut album ‘For a Moment, I Was Lost’ – considering the frankness of frontman Joshua Keogh, no doubt a nod to those traumatic straying days – it came thundering in off the Solent and into the exacting surroundings of Southampton’s Engine Rooms.

Amber Run are a group destined for the commercial stomping ground they once had at their fingertips. It’s plainly all there. Like a series spin-off featuring The Kooks’ Luke Pritchard and  James Bay with a soundtrack based on ‘Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends’ era Coldplay guitars, the sound of Amber Run is readymade for chart dominance and most likely industry acclaim. And most importantly, their support has never wavered.

Southampton’s show was the London-based group’s fourth sold-out show – a number ever likely to increase with eight more shows scheduled this month. And it’s not a surprise. It was banger central. Instantly ‘Sparks’ delivered the nerve-quivering sound of 500 people chanting “let the light in” under the glow of darting white light. ‘Fickle Game’ – another single from the debut, that sounded like a 2017-radio friendly version of the fabled Chris Isaak number – and ‘Perfect’ – a ballsy burst of northern psychedelia guitar cutting against the gritty heart of this out-of-character number – demonstrated the continued versatility of the debut, something the band were eager to explain had “hit the charts midweek, yeah whatever, I’ll put it in my toilet”.

But tonight was about those fans. Rewind back with the wrenching ‘5am’ and damaged ‘I Found’ soothers.

“We had no idea what Amber Run even was – we hadn’t given ourselves the time to understand what we wanted to be and where we wanted to go,” a recent introspective Facebook post reads on Amber Run’s homepage. “We weren’t even called Amber Run when we signed.”

And much like the statement – which goes on to add the band “don’t need to give a fuck about those things anymore” – the demons of sham promises and ill-judged advise have gone. Amber Run have found their identity. And for the majority, it’s a place they’ll enjoy.

Words by Clive Hammond

MORE

BLOSSOMS, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
FOR many the last few years have absolutely flown by. Election after election, tragedy after tragedy, humane coming together of community, solidarity, Iceland, the year of the celebrity death, Pokemon Go. Too much to remember. Yet for four lads, who unbeknownst to them spent the whole of their lives living within 2km of each other, […]
NICK MULVEY, INTERVIEW, CAMP BESTIVAL
“WHEN you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” is how the antiquated adage from founding father Benjamin Franklin goes. That ability to be flexible and change when the time is right. Hundreds of years-ago that famous line was uttered, but it’s never felt more relevant, and for former modern-jazz-turned-songwriter-come-newly-christened-father Nick Mulvey, changing and maturing has always been […]
JOE INNES & THE CAVALCADE, FOREIGN DOMESTIC POLICY, INTERVIEW
“You know with this climate at the minute everything is changing,” London-based Joe Innes tell Quenched Music. With his new album ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ taking years to finally arrange, it’s hardly surprising it’s become a labour of love for the self-confessed post-Brexit indie songwriter. “It took it’s time but that’s because in the time I […]
COMMON PEOPLE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
AS THE final stragglers danced their way from the Common People main stage, the filthy sounds of favourite headliner Sean Paul still ringing around the ears, it was time for the organisers to reflect on how successful this year’s festival was. 40,000 flocked to Southampton’s Common in anticipation of yet another Bank Holiday jaunt on […]
SIMPLE MINDS, MAYFLOWER THEATRE, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
IN SIMPLE terms the word ‘acoustic’ means not having electrical amplification. But as Glaswegian new-wave act Simple Minds triumphantly demonstrated to a packed house at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre, definitions are subjective. You would be forgiven for expecting longstanding Minds members Jim Kerr, the idyllic vocalist and endearing frontman since the group first formed in 1977, […]
CARELESS PEOPLE, CHARLOTTE OC, ALBUM, RECORDED
FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]