Several times during this feverish evening, Amber Run’s floppy-haired frontman Joe Keogh pauses and gapes, rapt, at the full-to-capacity venue. “We want to remember this for the rest of our lives,” he blurts, eyeing the band’s biggest yet crowd on a sold-out tour. “So are you up for this?” we sure are. Two songs in, and the whole place is roaring and stamping along to the rousing chorus of “Spark”, and that sets the pace for a night of giant, surging pop-rock love anthems, choral vocals and well-choreographed but heartfelt guitar wigouts.
The Nottingham band’s debut album, 5AM, which dipped into the Top 40 earlier this year, was almost disconcertingly mature, landing comfortably in Coldplay/Bastille territory (though a little of the latter band’s showy erudition would round things off nicely). But, freed from the studio, tunes such as “Hurricane” and the slushy “I Found” are testament to the fact that they’ve earned their stripes in sweaty pub venues, though you suspect they’ve been hearkening to the call of the stadium throughout. Early track “Noah” serves up the perfect singalong encore to a set with the kind of energy and conviction that sends fans away buzzing and wanting more.
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