Review: The Amazons at Boiler Shop Newcastle
Review by Robyn McGough.
The Amazons – Monday 17th October at The Boiler Shop in Newcastle
The Amazons are an indie-rock four piece band hailing from Reading who have been on the scene since 2017 with their first album The Amazons and their following hit album released in 2019 – Future Dust. They have been a regular on the festival circuit scene with their upbeat, stadium-ready hooks. I have been a huge fan of their music from the off and was super excited to find out they were releasing a new album in September 2022 which is titled How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me?
My favourite song from this album has to be the opening song – How Will I Know? Beautifully written by the front man Matt Thompson on the back of not seeing his partner during the pandemic.
It was a windy evening on the night of Monday 17th October and the welcoming doors of the Boiler Shop were ready to host what would turn out to be a wonderful evening! I won’t lie to you, I have only been in the Boiler Shop for my many attempts to win a lifesize cutout of Lewis Capaldi or a Henry the Hoover at Bongo’s Bingo over the last few years, so it felt very bizarre to be watching a gig in the same venue where I have danced on tables to 5ive and Frozen.
I did find the space within the Boiler Shop a little awkward for a gig due to the big pipework on the right hand side of the stage, this was easily combated by taking a central view but the stage was also quite flat so at times could be difficult to see. I am only short however, so try to not let this put you off!
The music kicked off at 7:30 with the wonderful Lizzie Esau back in her hometown of Newcastle. The first song we heard when we got there was Jellyfish, a really unique and different song. Her breath control was spot on as she part rapped her way through the well written lyrics in the verses. Funky guitar riffs echoed from her band throughout all of her songs. She truly had beautiful vocals and such great stage presence. A real natural especially with her audience interaction. Would I see her again? Most definitely.
Big props to The Boiler Shop for the most banging tunes whilst waiting between sets – usually at a gig this is a dead lull – like that time between Christmas and New Year where you feel a little lost but you know something exciting is coming up. This was not the case as banger after banger popped out – retro indie tunes mixed with some new stuff. Of course, the crowd went wild when Seventeen Going Under blasted through the speakers. Newcastle loves Sam Fender.
Half 8 rolled around and I was excited for The Amazons, after a ten minute wait they graced our stage looking as wonderful as ever. They opened up with their opening number on their album How Will I Know? The lighting was amazing to match this truly epic song. Within the first minute the mosh pit opened up and the crowd were going wild. A truly electric atmosphere to begin their set. I have to admit I moved after the first song as the mosh pit started to expand and I am getting too old for that on a school night! Euphoric roars filled The Boiler Shop after their first banger.
Next up, they played Ultraviolet which gives me old school indie-rock vibes. A feel good tune which always makes me smile. The crowd continued their moshing as well as some crowd surfers appearing. I would love to know what that feels like for a band to see that- it must be the best feeling in the world.
The lead singer Matt Thompson delivered crystal clear vocals and continued to deliver banger after banger. Killer drum beats and a tight performance from the band with their varied repertoire throughout the set. I always love it when a band thinks hard about their set list and this was evident as the night went on. A great mix of heavier uptempo songs entwined with some of their slower, more chilled out ones. Real shade and light throughout the show which made sure their audience were never bored.
At first, I wasn’t sure about their audience engagement. The first three times the band spoke they said “Hello Newcastle, we are The Amazons.” We know that- we’re in Newcastle watching you! However, the audience participation and engagement improved massively and Matt continued to tell anecdotes throughout the set. A special one was him talking about them being in the band since they were 13 and dreaming of playing shows like this. At the end, I felt like my opinion on them had done a total 180! Sincere, no arrogance in sight and genuine, a very rare thing to see from rock bands at times. They thanked the audience at the end of the show and you could tell they had a huge appreciation for every single person there.
About half way through the set, an audience member shouted “TURN IT UP!” To which the sound technician replied “Oh my God!” But did it anyway. Nice and loud ready for their next hit In My Mind. The crowd literally went wild. I could feel the bass through my feet and chest. The bearded man stood next to me loved the “dirty riffs” as he kept talking about throughout the whole song!
Northern Star really stole my heart. A song from their new album. There were “nee riffs in this one” as the bearded man professed however, this is a late night chilled drive kinda tune. Beautiful melodies and lyrics combined with twinkling lights on the stage. He asked the crowd to light up the room with their torches and that they did! A really special moment of the gig for me.
The Amazons have such an extensive range of songs and it truly shows how much they have evolved across their last 8 years of being a band.
Another firm favourite was the acoustic session near the end of the show. They introduced all of the members of the band including their additional harmonica player all the way from Las Vegas! He buttered the crowd up telling us we have the sexiest accents in the UK! Beautiful acoustic guitars and harmonies during this section for Nightdriving and their own dedication of Seventeen Going Under. I felt like I was getting my very own version of Live Lounge.
Finally they returned to the stage to end the night with Black Magic. Truly epic.
Thank you to The Amazons for an amazing night and to In Newcastle for a wonderful evening.