Review: The Amazons at O2 Academy Bournemouth

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The Amazons paid tribute to rock legends during a spectacular set enthused with raw energy and showmanship

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The Amazons begin to draw the curtain on their UK tour and set sights for America in the new year. Their twitter highlights the range of experiences they’ve had for their current Future Dust album tour. Lead singer Matt Thomsons explained how the band were coming up from the “mid-tour lull” and were feeling very loving. Something which definitely shone through throughout the gig, in which The Amazons tore up the stage with solos galore…

The band member’s choice of clothing reflected the latest album’s dive into rock ‘n’ roll history. Lead guitarist Chris Alderton’s slicked-back hair and casual business attire resembled both early John Lennon come Alex Turner while Thomsons made us all starry-eyed with his suit bedazzled for the legends like Freddie Mercury and Elton John. The shabby golden glitz of O2 Academy Bournemouth was a welcome return while The Amazons’ staging was simple but effective. Taking its inspiration from the cover of their second album, the outline of the cave proved multipurpose, acting as both an A for ‘Amazons’ and what looked like a lightning strike that pulsed throughout the set.

Thomson’s vocals strengthened as the set progressed. Opening with two from the latest album, ‘Fuzzy Tree’ and ‘Mother’. Although it was song number three ‘Stay with Me’, a first album hit, where they really found their groove. They packed a powerful punch with every anthemic song which was a testament to the crowded stage of musicians performing alongside The Amazons’ quartet, with back-up singers, additional guitars, piano and added percussion – shout out to the musician who sat behind an amp next to drummer Josef Emmett to play the “hidden” tambourine. Highlights included mash-ups of their own songs in amongst songs by their heroes. T. Rex, The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Rage Against the Machine were just some of the bands they were celebrating in this ode to rock ‘n’ roll. The extended versions of ‘Little Something’ and ‘Black Magic’ were welcome editions and every tasty solo, whether from Alderton on guitar, Elliot Briggs on bass or Emmett on drums, rocked. Even a song like ‘All Over Town’ found its well-earned place on the roster as Thomsons’ vocals found new emotional energy live on stage.

We were treated to a duet between Thomsons and Lia Medcalf from support band The Mysterines. Apparently they’d been talking about doing a Bob Dylan cover for a while and we got to witness the blissful result. Throughout ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ Thomsons provided softer tones to Madcalf’s sharper, more biting vocals, which created a perfect reflection of the bittersweet sentiments behind the song. Even ‘Junk Food Forever’, their penultimate song, started off slow as a solo with a lone Thomsons singing on stage with an acoustic guitar before the rest of the band slowly trickled in, finishing in spectacular fashion.

The Amazons have the air of young rockstars when they’re jamming but their humility shines through in-between songs. Thomsons’ goofy showmanship charmed the crowd, giving us moments of the greatest showman and then a heartfelt last song speech one song too early. He took the time to acknowledge the fans; even a girl hidden under the balcony caught the corner of his eye and got his full attention as he pointed and sang in her direction to make her night. Even the straight-up, no-nonsense Alderton showed us a little flair, performing one guitar solo behind his neck like a true badass. The Amazons paid tribute to rock legends during a spectacular set enthused with raw energy and showmanship. On their current trajectory, perhaps one day they will join their idols!

The Amazons’ UK tour has now finished, however you can stay in the loop with any of their upcoming shows here

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