The Amazons are one of the most exciting bands to have emerged this year, building up a crazy reputation for being one of the most promising and fun live bands right now. As usual, The Horn in St Albans was able to snatch up this exciting emerging four piece, booking a headline gig with them to mark the start of the band’s UK tour. The Horn is one of my favourite venues; they’ve had bands like Trampolene, Vant, The Hunna and The Magic Gang play there in the last year or so, with upcoming gigs from bands like Strange Bones, Asylums and The Sherlocks. I’m really grateful to the venue for how wonderful they are, not just at getting these sick bands to headline, but for also showcasing small local bands on such a great platform.
The gig kicked off with J.W PARIS, who I was astounded by. They had this intense grittiness and rawness to them, with a dirty rock undertone to their music. Made up of Daniel, Aaron and Josh, there was a really great DIY bite to the band’s tracks, with the two vocalists and heavy guitar pairing together brilliantly. The vocals were what I loved the most about the band’s performance; they were really raspy and gritty, with this crazily raw stripped back quality to them. It was really harsh music, but so well rehearsed and meticulously performed too. I’d spent those last two nights before Thursday’s show at gigs (Fiende Fatale & Slaves), so I definitely had high standards which J.W PARIS surpassed. For me, Berlin was the best track of the night; something about that track just hits me in a different way, as did Rapture which had this dirty gravel to it and a brilliantly sturdy heavy bass throughout. Lucille is another fantastic track by the band; it’s not as heavy on record, but live the guitar was loud and screeched with distortion, producing this heavy Demob Happy-esque sound. I loved how rough the band were, with this unapproachable no-shit attitude which just made the rock heaviness of their set even more powerful and exciting. For fans of bands like Baby Strange, Estrons, and Pretty Vicious, J.W PARIS would definitely be up your street. Like lots of small rock bands now, their sound on record is fantastic, but it’s live on stage where they really can excel and showcase the heavy gritty aggression which makes them such a sick band, full of intimidating riffs and heavy vocals. In my eyes, they were just that tiny bit better than the other bands who performed that night, excelling well beyond the expectations I had.
The next group to play were The Ghost Riders in the Sky, who released debut album The Death of Everything New last year. What I liked about their music was the solid well rehearsed sound they had; it wasn’t as hardcore or edgy as the first band had been, but they had a really loud rock’n’roll bite regardless. The energy on their stage was undeniable too, and their stage is the appropriate term to use as they dominated it; they were very confident and bold and fiery which created this powerful explosion of riffs. Vocals wise, I would have preferred something grittier and more raw, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Gillian led the tracks brilliantly, with plenty of power; the band were able to present themselves in a cool and intimidating way, with a fantastic bite of rock to their performance which warmed the crowd up wonderfully for The Amazons.
By the time the two support bands had finished, the venue had become a lot more crowded, packed with fans eagerly awaiting The Amazons; I hadn’t expected them to draw such a big crowd, but for their third time playing The Horn it’s clear they’ve been building up a local fan base. Including tracks like In My Mind, Ultraviolet, Nightdriving and Stay With Me, their set was brilliantly put together; they had immense energy and this brilliantly lively enthusiasm on stage, with a small group of fans at the front moshing their hearts out. I love how fun and exciting The Amazons are, with a great young energy accompanied by blaring riffs, with an emphasis on really fun, feel good indie-rock music.
The band is made up of Matt, Chris, Joe and Elliot, and they’re simply four lads on stage having a great time
The fun energy and liveliness of their set reminded me of bands I’ve caught live in the past like The Bohicas and Kaiser Chiefs. There’s something really exciting and promising about The Amazons too, showing so much promise for the future of proper indie rock music. The fun friendship they have and liveliness and bold energy they channelled on stage with ease was really great to be a part of, and their music is amazing too. In My Mind is a fantastic track, with really gritty vocals and great guitar throughout; Stay With Me is another favourite of mine, and has the catchiest riff at the end of the chorus which I love. A lot of The Amazons’ music has that quality of being unique and stands out with really interesting riffs and melodies, but at the same time their tracks don’t stray too far from the brilliance of proper, classic indie rock. Like Circa Waves, Asylums and Sundara Karma, The Amazons are a brilliant burst of indie liveliness, and with everyone saying 2017 will be the band’s year, last week’s show promises they will dominate the new year with ease.
Listen to In My Mind below:
Gig rating: ★★★★☆