The first act appeared on stage only fifteen minutes after doors had opened, as eager to play as we were to listen.
The stunning, ethereal vocals of Meadowlark, hushed the excited crowd to a pin-drop silence. The duo parted for Kate to sing ‘Little Boxes’, at which point everyone seemed to collectively exhale. Although still clearly nervous on stage, with awkward remarks reciprocated by half hearted crowd participation, they are definitely ones to watch.
Rhodes followed, walking humbly on stage as if he was part of the crew, yet exceeding all expectations. His newly formed band added a defining depth and It was clear to see they mirrored his passion for preforming. His stunning vocals saw him pouring his heart out on stage, with ‘Raise your love’ , seeming to raise the room. A digital recording does not do his voice justice, as ‘Breathe’ completely transformed as it echoed around us.
“it was one of those rare musical experiences that fill you with an overwhelming sense of contentment”
Amber run originally from Nottingham, are a hard band to compare. As emotive as Bastille – but with the ability to play guitars, merged with the uplifting and soul-baring style of Coldplay. They made it very clear from the onset that they where home and god damn happy to be here, with this electric feeling intensified by the moody blue backdrop and fitting glowing amber lights, as they slowly built up to “See you soon’.
Flop- haired and self conscious, Joe reminisced about working in the rescue rooms. “We rehearsed in a rat infested basement in Lenton, and now we are playing the f*cking rescue rooms!!!”. Genuinely overwhelmed by the sold out homecoming tour, they were now one of the bands they had watched and aspired to, “Its because of you guys we get to play here”.
The crowd were built up, and gradually brought back down, sad to euphoric – their set weaved through the emotions of their debut album 5AM. The title song had the crowd hanging on every world of Joe’s flawless vocals, reaching new levels of expression, only to be exhilaratingly fuelled by their arena ready songs such as ‘Hurricane’ and the soaring bridge of ’Good Morning’.
“We rehearsed in a rat infested basement in Lenton, and now we are playing the f*cking rescue rooms!!!”
The set was rounded off with Spark, ‘Let the Light in’ chanted back from the crowd, soothingly followed by ‘I Found’, layered with heavenly backing vocals.
The encore was charged with stubborn determination from an unmoving room, as they burst back on to close the night with ‘Heaven’, unsurprisingly followed by ‘Noah’. This Amber run anthem was the song that really started it for them after appearing on the acoustic mahogany sessions. The song has only seemed to gain strength, as if it was the culmination of all of their hard work, returning home to celebrate a top 40 chart album. Joe grinned as he sang ‘My name is Noah and the sea is my home’, a nostalgic moment for any early Amber Run fan, remastered to perfection.
If you are ever given the chance to see them, I push you to do so. It is an atmosphere I am still struggling to describe, the crowd were so enthralled, the vocals hauntingly perfect, it was one of those rare musical experiences that fill you with an overwhelming sense of contentment. For those few hours everything just seemed settled, nothing else mattered, no one was taking selfies or aimlessly chatting, we were all there solely to appreciate everything they had to give us, and give it right back.
By Megan Spoor