Home > News & Reviews > Amplifier

Amplifier - The Duchess, York - 18th March 2013 (Live Review)

Thursday, 21 March 2013 Written by Ben Bland
Amplifier - The Duchess, York - 18th March 2013 (Live Review)

On the eve of this, their tour in support of fourth album ‘Echo Street’, Amplifier issued a stark message to their fans. In the face of declining record sales bands need fans to turn out at shows for them more than ever and, to put it simply, this has left Amplifier in a difficult position. Whilst attendances for them in Europe have never been better, fans in the UK seemingly lack the commitment to travel to shows in the same quantities, with the band struggling to sell many tickets for any of the dates on this latest jaunt around their homeland. As such the message has come loud and clear. This might be Amplifier’s last ever UK tour.

ImageThankfully that means that, by York standards, The Duchess is fairly busy tonight. It’s not swarming with people by any stretch of the imagination, but there are enough punters in to ensure that the band are not completely wasting their time, and those in attendance are treated to a mammoth career set by way of a thank you. Now beefed up to a live five piece by guitarist and keyboardist Charlie Barnes, who also opens tonight’s show with a set of his own solo material in excellent (if at times almost overwhelmingly loud) voice, the band have rarely seemed more assured on stage. Despite on-stage sound issues the likes of ‘Mary Rose’ and ‘The Wheel’, two highlights of the latest album, are pulled off without a hitch. Steve Durose and Alexander Redhead provide the all-essential vocal harmonies with aplomb whilst frontman Sel Balamir is his ever charismatic self. Rumours persist that drummer Matt Brobin is hammering away at the back of the stage, although it must be said that at The Duchess he is rendered invisible from some vantage points.

The most appealing thing about Amplifier has always been that they have sounded colossal, no matter what obstacles have been thrown at them. Perhaps, in a sense, it remains the feedback drenched howls of their debut album that remain the true lynchpins of their live set. ‘Motorhead’ and ‘Panzer’ offering true sonic mass whilst ‘UFO’s’ is a take on the atmospheric space rock balladry that predates the similar feel of their latest album. Add in the prog mini-opuses provided by tracks from the double album ‘The Octopus’ and you get a set that takes onlookers into territories far beyond the confines of this puzzlingly designed club.

In fact, it is debatable if Amplifier have ever sounded better. All they ask is that their endless pursuit of Britain’s club gigging audiences is received with a bit of enthusiasm and, to be fair, they do get some of that tonight. It’s a small step but it would be a huge shame, on this evidence, if Amplifier had to stop touring their own country. As the last strains of ‘Airborne’ fade away after two hours on stage you would certainly be hard pressed to think of anyone who does space rock live better than these guys have been doing for the last decade.

'Echo Street’, the latest album by Amplifier, is out now via Kscope. Check out Stereoboard's review here.

We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

No related news to show
< Prev   Next >