Writer Laura Mills / Photographer Connor Pope
I stare up looking at the bright lights beaming off the O2 Institute Birmingham, but not for too long ‘cos it’s chucking it down. There are loud noises already vibrating off the venue and people everywhere trying to find which room their ticket grants them access to.
Upstairs we go ready and raring to see The Amazons.
My first impression when opening the door is that it is packed. Literally packed, and the set shows no signs of starting yet. But, hey ho let’s grab a refreshment.
After battling my way to the bar, I return to my previous spot because there’s nowhere else to stand. It is not a good night to be five foot three.
Stepping forward ever so slightly, I find myself in a cheeky spot where I can just about see everything going on in the room. Everyone seems up for it, singing along to each indie banger that’s played by The Novus to fire us up before the set starts.
One in particular that gets everyone singing along is ‘Lonely Boy’ by The Black Keys, what a great choice for this brummie crowd on a Saturday night.
An intense but electrifying guitar riff signals to the crowd it’s that time… here comes the headline act, and The Amazons’ set kicks off with one of the band’s latest tracks – ‘How Will I Know?’
The sound is strong and consistent, a mix of powerful vocals, clattering drums and the soulful tone of the guitar. Our opener seems well received by the crowd who’ve obviously done their research and are singing along with the frontman.
Casting my mind way back to 2017, the band launches into ‘Ultraviolet’. I remember listening to this one while doing my A Levels and I love this track even more right now. Seeing and hearing it played in front of my very eyes brings back this feeling of nostalgia and surely that’s what a good band does, right?
Throughout this track the atmosphere is clearly at its highest peak so far with pints being launched into the air and groups jumping arm in arm.
All this atmosphere is mirrored with the stage as the band are giving everything they have to their instruments, the sheer strength in every chord…
As the band launches into ‘In My Mind’, it’s a complete rush. The gritty sounds of these guitar riffs are almost ripping open the ceiling of the O2 Institute and they have full backing from the drums that are being bashed to death,
All this energy is projected onto the crowd who are completely fixated by the band singing along with them, especially with the lyrics “baby in my mind”.
As the night goes on we’re given more and more great songs, including a few covers too. Towards the end of the set I’m trying to count up how many tracks have been played but I’m really not sure, there’s been so many.
Even with this plethora of tracks it’s no surprise that we’re finishing this Saturday night set on ‘Black Magic’.
The guitar riff to kick this one off is well received by our brummie crowd who’ve now all started to bash into one and another. Each vocal is sung with complete strength and precision – in fact they’ve shown no signs of faltering all night.
As we launch into our final chorus, everyone and their nan has now joined in singing the lyrics:
“Black magic / Come on / Just let me on, now I believe”
The track and the evening finish on another relentless riff and that’s it. What a band, what a night. O2 Institute you already know I’ll be back.
For more gigs and events at O2 Institute visit: www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham