Chances are The Amazons have probably worked their way onto your radar in one way or the other in the past few years. Whether it be from one of their incredible performances at some of the biggest festivals across the world, their slew of Radio 1-ready indie hit singles or their support tour with Royal Blood, the Reading-based four-piece rock prophets have probably tickled your ear drums somehow. But for die-hard fans of the band, the 11th of August was an important date.
Enter The Amazons at Face Bar in their hometown of Reading. The day is sweltering hot, and the venue is about ten degrees warmer, sweat coats the floor as the small crowd of fans slowly moves from the bar to the pit in possibly the smallest venue the band has played since the release of their last album ‘Future Dust’.
The boys have been touring non-stop this year already, making seeing them more achievable than ever, but something about a room full of die-hard fans and a bigger-than-ever band, separated by only a single security guard, felt exciting.
As the opening chords of their latest single ‘How Will I Know’ were strummed, it was clear that the room was in for a painfully loud gig; fans almost instantly tapped out to move further away from the sound system to try and save themselves from an early tinnitus grave.
The sheer weight of volume that filled the room acted as a musical double-edged sword. Guitar solos and bass lines packed more of a punch than ever, whilst lead singer Matthew Thomson’s vocals were often lost in the blistering soundscape; however, the eager crowd was on hand to add backing vocals for anyone not familiar with the band’s roster of hits.
The setlist was meticulously planned, with the Reading boys playing everything from the fan favourite ‘Ultraviolet’ from their first self-titled outing to unreleased magic from their just released new album.
It’s easy for a band releasing new music to use their smaller shows as a chance to play all their unreleased songs to build up hype for the upcoming album, but with The Amazons’ return home, they decided to bless fans with hits they have kept off their lineup for years.
What fans were treated too easily rivals some of the band’s biggest and greatest live performances. The Amazons performed an iconic set, this time armed with improved musical prowess and a more powerful singing voice from frontman Matt, achieved by honing their craft for the better part of a decade.
The night proved that even as The Amazons become larger in status, they are still the humble indie band from the suburbs they always have been, playing their hearts out to an adoring crowd, just happy to be living their childhood dreams – armed only with powerful songs, ear-burningly loud drum fills and a passion that could last for decades to come.
Written by Mason Meyers // photography by Edward Cooke