If you haven’t heard of this band, I expect that you soon will. Amber Run played at the Rescue Rooms last week to an unsurprisingly sold out show. They are a five piece Alternative Rock band hailing from Buckinghamshire and Kent forming during their first year at the University of Nottingham.
The audience were suitably warmed up with two fantastic support acts, Molly and Jack, a Folk band mixing mellow acoustic guitar riffs with beautiful harmonies, and Fickle Friends, an Indie Rock/Pop band that was Two Door Cinema Club esq with their synth and guitar melodies energizing the audience for the eventual arrival of Amber Run onto the stage.
These support bands set a very high bar, however, Amber Run just reached several levels higher. They were masterful. As the first member of the band walked on the Rescue Rooms stage everyone was there with them, instantly they had the whole crowd in the palm of their hand. It was one of those sets that made you feel that they’ve been doing this for years, yet they haven’t. They didn’t try to make the listeners hyped, they already were at the first chug of the guitar purely due to their presence.
Amber Run are one of those rare bands that have produced a first-rate studio album, yet somehow sound even better live. ‘I Found’ was ethereal expressed through a calming piano and mesmerizing vocals, while ‘Good Morning’ produced nostalgic guitar riffs giving a sense of throwback as everyone waved their arms side to side. ‘Hurricane’ had snappy, treacly drums suitably supporting a Pop Rock song, while ‘Spark’ provided an ample entry song into which they ignited a night on fire.
The whole set was thoroughly planned out. It was not a case of a band throwing out some of their songs but a night that was thought through and captivating. I barely had time to pull out my phone and post those cliché, distorted gig snapchats which everyone ignores – I was enthralled with what I was seeing and did not want to miss a thing. From the way the lead singer, Joe Keough, sang 5AM, acting like the man portrayed in the song dealing with a drug issue at 5am and still having to go to work in the morning, to the way they belted “Noaaah” as their finale, to the way they sang two Christmas classics to say thank you to their sound guy, they figured out a recipe that worked that enraptured the onlookers.
Quoting their Facebook bio, they’d rather be timeless than cool, creating music that would still be listened to in a decade’s time. However, despite their best attempts, they are still very, very cool, and very, very much worth seeing live.