The Rocking Chair has in recent times become Sheffield’s most unpredictable venue. Last week Drenge managed to squeeze on hundred bodies in its basement but just a few months earlier only a couple turned up for another band doing the rounds.
Tonight The Amazons swing by on the first date of their UK headline tour with support band Tibet in tow. The Cardiff four-piece come loaded with tight-knit fire cracking indie, hitting all the right riffs that were left in noughties Britain. ‘Fridge’ is the kind of torn-off the back of a cereal packet nonsense that The Wombats and Superfood got away with and ‘There Is A Place’ is Oasis’ ‘Lyla’ and Kasabian all rolled into one, fit for a stadium sing-a-long. All these comparisons stand them in good stead though and an infectious handful of songs gets the crowd dancing the most they may do the whole night.
Whilst you have to respect The Amazons for their polished whirlwind anthems, they rarely take a breather and change the pace, making it exasperating at points to watch. Donned in a silk shirt and consistently flicking his hair, lead singer Matt Thompson may have become 2016’s indie heartthrob with clumsy love letter track ‘Stay With Me’ but stopping another song halfway through to drop a cliched bombshell, “Are you still with us Sheffield!?” may just turn people’s stomachs.
Killer-weights ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘In My Mind’ come crashing down emphatically but it’s the lighter side to the Reading quartet which is most appealing. “Has anyone been to Reading? Don’t bother. That’s why we came (here), we came to escape” Thompson chuckles with the crowd before launching into catchiest track to date ‘Junk Food Forever’.
There’s no doubt about it, The Amazons are fit for a fistful of Radio 1 plays and a big supporting slot to come into the new year but just how far they can stretch outside of their comfort zone remains to be seen.
Photo by Ethan Weatherby.