The last time Amber Run came through Liverpool, it was May 1st, at The Kazimier for Liverpool Sound City 2014. They turned some heads and made some new fans that evening, with their own take on an indie-pop sound.
We were lucky enough to have an interview that day as well as an interview ahead of their return to Merseyside, this time at EVAC. Fresh off the back of the Communion: New Faces tour with a host of other new and exciting acts, they seem understandably jaded but still excited for the gig.
There was however, a hint of nerves within the group as to how well received they would be. The Nottingham based 5-piece had just come from a near sell out tour, including a sold out homecoming show at Bodega and were about to play a city that is still relatively new to them. It is safe to say that there was nothing to really worry about in the end, with a packed Loft at EVAC being treated to a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable set.
The crowd did take a while to warm up but personally I feel this could have been a hangover due to the high quality of the support acts – Stillia in particular.
Impressively, Amber Run’s opening track dispelled any pretence of nerves, the audience being treated to my personal favourite track and a truly awesome live spectacle, “I Found”. 4 part harmonies wrapped around heartfelt lyrics, sitting on top of some melodic piano, all building into a simple yet metronomic beat to create a really crafted song that shows of the talent of every member of the band.
As the crowd recovered from the breath taking start to the show and eventually warmed up, both the band and the energy exuding from them continued to grow. Kavanagh summed it perfectly on stage “We don’t really have a middle, we’re either really sad or really happy.” Whether your being serenaded through a slow and melancholy ballad or tapping your foot along to one of the catchier and energetic songs, there is a definite identity to the sound that is Amber Run. Whilst they are the first to admit that their style of music isn’t pioneering genre-defining work, what they have come to master as a band is delivering it in a fresh way that translates to a much larger demographic.
Back in our Sound City 2014 interview for LSRadio, Kavanagh admitted a huge admiration of British super band Coldplay despite a growing trend to throw hate in the direction of Chris Martin and his brand of pop ballads. You can see the influence a band such as Coldplay has on their music as a whole, whilst some individual tracks lend stylistic traits from the likes of U2 and Bastille.
Amber Run have managed to carve their own sound, maintaining respect for all their influences, yet interestingly manage to avoid a large deal of the critical negativity the aforementioned acts receive. They retain a strong sense of identity and familiarity throughout their work, poignant in all three of their EP’s and then masterfully translated to their live performance. Each song is a labour of love and has a high level of musicianship whilst also being so easy to listen to and appreciate.
If they can keep up this level of craft in their work and continue to fill venues nationwide with the level of performance we saw at EVAC, then who is to say that they can’t surpass some of the bands that have clearly inspired their sound. We were told in the interview to expect their debut album and new material in the early part of 2015 and here at LSRadio, we can’t wait.
Words: Brendan Walsh