Review: The Amazons at O2 Guildhall Southampton

Vibrant and Energetic

The Amazons deliver an impressive punk-filled performance that had the crowd hanging on their every note

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When the Amazons stepped onto the stage on Tuesday night the crowd were ready and waiting. They had danced to Coach Party, an energetic quartet from the Isle of Wight, who brought a refreshing feminine edge to punk, complete with screaming and a political statement of “f**k the Tories” all cloaked in a red hue. Stagehands had brought on the bands’ morettis in preparation for their arrival and the lights began glowing from blue to red as the crowd itched with excitement. The backdrop, two windows like in the band’s new album How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me, set against a white background seemed almost too simple for a band with 3 top ten albums. You could feel the anticipation in the air as the clock drew closer to 9:15pm, the crowd whooping and cheering, waiting to see if the band would deliver a guitar-filled punk rock show.

And boy, did they deliver!

They launched into song with the album’s title track How Will I Know and from the get-go the band had the audience in the palm of their hand. When the frontman Matt Thomson leant into the crowd during the second song Ready For Something, hands shot up faster than lightning. Whether they were delivering old classics or new tunes, the crowd went wild. Thomson had promised them a “f**king crazy Tuesday night” and the band certainly provided this; with Stay With Me from the band’s first album causing fans to form a huge mosh pit, engulfing almost the entire standing area. The band breathed new life into their older hits like Ultraviolet which they began with a stripped back version with only vocals and a single guitar before bringing in the rest of the band to build up to the memorable chorus. Of course, no punk show would be complete without a worthy mention of the political state of the country and Thomson pointedly said “I’m sick and tired of insane people running this f**king country” before playing One By One, a song about tyrants and nuclear bombs. Incredible.

Credit: Milo Hutchinson

The Amazons really had the ability to involve the crowd, so it felt like you were not watching them, but performing with them; whether it was clapping for the crowd when they sang Say It Again or holding up the microphone for the audience during Mother, it made you really feel part of something.

The highlight of the show was when the band performed Northern Star, a fan favourite from their new album; the lights went down and the venue was lit up by phone flashlights; swaying to the slower rhythm and singing along as the backdrop transformed from white to be lit up with stars. Even Thomson exclaimed about how “this song came out less than a f**king month ago, I can hear you all, its un-f**king-believable” before asking the crowd if they wanted to do a chorus with him and launching into the song once more.

Towards the end of the set, the band assembled at the corner of the stage where Thomson introduced each of them. Introduced as the “vice president of the mandolin preservation society”, Chris Alderton, guitarist and mandolinist, carried out the band’s iconic guitar riffs with flawless precision, the crowd practically lapped at his feet. “Protector of bass face” Elliot Briggs, appeared nimble-fingered but humble, delivering complex bass lines as if they were unchallenging. While hidden at the back for most of the show, Joe Emmett on the drums did not hide quietly, he beat loud and proud as he teased the end of songs like Black Magic with powerful never-ending drumbeats before throwing his sticks out to the crowd. Thomson himself appeared cool and casual as ever, belting out his lines as if they came effortlessly to him. When a piano appeared on the stage, he showed his talents with a soulful rendition of the beginning of No Doubt, showing off the rasp in his voice as the sound of raindrops fell and the crowd echoed his every word.

The atmosphere was electric, with the crowd clapping and stomping in support, and the venue helped make it so; in between songs Thomson voiced his love for the venue “it’s such a pleasure to play such a beautiful venue, some of the purpose built venues are a little bit soulless, but it’s the venues that are adapted and have previous use like this,  are the ones that are the most characterful and the ones that we remember the most.” Before reminiscing about how this was the first venue of a large size that they’d ever played back in 2015 when supporting Jimmy Eat World. They certainly have grown since then.

From headbanging to jumping, rock tracks to slow acoustic takes on old songs with a touch of harmonica, their performance leaves little to be desired. The Amazon’s sound makes you believe they should be playing venues much bigger than these, and no doubt, one day they will.

Catch The Amazons on tour across the UK throughout October 2022!

Credit: Milo Hutchinson



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