Amber Run - O2 Academy Review

Toby Bryant reviews Amber Run at the O2 Academy

Toby Bryant
27th February 2017

Thursday 16th February, a sold out Room 2 at the O2 Academy, days after the release of a new album, AMBER RUN walk out onto stage.

It’s been a turbulent couple of years for the group. Fallouts, loss of a band member and a new record deal are problems that have plagued the band in recent times but with a great amount of perseverance, a new album, For a Moment, I Was Lost and a corresponding tour has been successfully pulled off.

"the group recognised the need to play an equal amount of old material"

It was with an air of relief that the band walked onto stage. The rapturous shouts of a diverse crowd, partly spurred on by the Newcastle football shirt lead guitarist had donned, greeted AMBER RUN and lead singer Joe Keogh immediately spoke with pride of the new album.

However, as the album had only been out a number of days, the group recognised the need to play an equal amount of old material, opening with ‘Spark’. This was followed by ‘Pilot’, again from debut album 5AM, which got the crowd jumping and floor literally quaking during the chorus.

"It’s evident to see that the disputes of the past year have taken their toll on the band"

After this warm up, AMBER RUN began the new material. ‘Stranger’ and ‘Fickle Game’ gave Keogh the chance to show off his haunting vocals before returning to ‘Just My Soul Responding’ from their first album. There was a beautiful moment during this track. The Geordie crowd took over the singing, unprompted, and Keogh gave a subtle, yet beaming, smile when it happened. There were a number of moments like this throughout the evening. It’s evident to see that the disputes of the past year have taken their toll on the band and playing to sell out crowds is exactly what they should have been spending time doing. After performing this song, he described the fact the band had pulled off a second album and tour as “flabbergasting” and that, for a while, their music had “turned to poison”.

The strongest ten minutes of the set followed this speech with the highly strung chorus of ‘Perfect’ lifting spirits, the whole crowd mused ‘5am’ together and the marching drums of ‘Noah’ gave a great feeling of unity.

During the encore cake was brought on to celebrate bassist Tom’s birthday and a Geordie rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ accompanied it. A stripped back version of ‘Haze’ silenced the crowd and ‘I Found’ maintained the calm atmosphere that had descended on the O2. The time eventually came for the last song, ‘No Answers’ from the new album, which has already clocked up over 900,000 plays on Spotify.

AMBER RUN really have worked hard to pull off this tour and the material to accompany it which fans are appreciating, shown by the sold out venues. The new work is fantastic and that, combined with ever-reliable older material, makes for a great show. It’s fantastic to have them back and boy are they back with a bang.

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