Amber Run at Nottingham Contemporary
Ex-UoN students may get green light for Amber run at chart success after golden show
Former University of Nottingham quintet Amber Run made us feel pretty inadequate last night.
In a little over a year, Amber Run have gone from studying subjects like English literature, ancient history and American studies at our fine Uni to getting regular airtime on BBC Radio 1, playing at Reading and Leeds Festivals and supporting world-renowned rockers Kodaline.
Suddenly the three years we’ve spent reading Geoffrey Chaucer seem like a slight waste of time.
Playing their anthemic pop-rock to a jammed crowd beneath the Nottingham Contemporary, Amber Run displayed the sort of tightness that takes bands fourteen years to develop, let alone the fourteen months Amber Run have spent jamming together.
Characterised by soaring harmonies and floating guitar notes, early track Little Ghost set an immediate tone for the rest of the gig as it drifted towards an almost post-rock climax.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Joe Keogh showed his penchant for a poppy hook with Hurricane, before See You Soon – a song about how the lads miss being in Nottingham (bless ‘em) – took the tempo down a notch.
The concluding triple whammy of singles Spark, Heaven and BBC Radio 1 hit Noah showcased the full extent of the band’s talent.
Tom Sperring’s incessant bass set the backdrop to Spark as Keough croned his way to another atmospheric climax, lead by his earnest echo of “Let the light in”.
Penultimate track Heaven, lead by Felix Archur’s punchy drumming and Henry Wyeth’s harmonies with Keough, has the guitar riff of a pop-rock classic, but closing tune Noah was the undoubted highlight.
Wyeth’s driving keyboard pushed the quintet to one final symphonic chorus of “Noahhhh”, showing the transfixed crowd – in case they hadn’t already notice – that Amber Run are one to watch.