Live. Amplifier

AMPLIFIER-POSTER

Live. Amplifier and Charlie Barnes.
Thursday 21st March 2013. The Relentless Garage, London.

Amplifiers last ever UK show. The stench of threat hung heavily over The Garage. Tonight doesn’t worry about the dramatics of the future though. Only support act Charlie Barnes mentions the finiteness of it all, and that’s with smirk in tow.

Sounding like a decrepit radio; head full of ideas and heart full of madness, Charlie Barnes’ mesmerising slot also provided cause to smile. Starting in the centre of the room with only an acoustic guitar, the sole of his worn shoes and fanciful vocal flight, Charlie Barnes disarmed expectations. Once back on stage, distorted loops and thundering beats allowed electronic rock to be progressively deconstructed. Rebuilt with pop grasp but still prone to breakdowns, Charlie Barnes gathered up the room’s expectations and surpassed them with absolutism.

Amplifier is a band formed on absolute principles. Old-fashioned ideals with a modernistic twist gift them a unique standing but they struggle to find space to call their own. Sorry if you have a short attention span but Amplifier don’t play little. They do show-up almost every other band around though.

The insular sway of Mary Rose bleeds into the stuttering wail of The Wave as Amplifier begin their heroic two-hour set with a skilled marriage of new and old. The delicate reflection of Echo Street contrasts with the loaded swing of The Octopus and the upfront attack of Amplifier. With those three albums getting an equal piece of the pie, the band shudder under their expansive excellence. During a vibrant, textured set, the Manchester five-piece explore classic rock with sweeping builds and technical menace. Quiet and refrained one minute, reckless and explosive the next, Amplifier shift like no one else.

The vocals flow alongside the river of instrumental constant, distorted under the breaks before surging forth with assured swagger. The lyrics provide another tightly woven blanket to pore over, distancing themselves with grand poetry then hitting home with brutal relations.

Providing laughter, tears and a desperate want for more, if tonight was the curtain call for Amplifier in the UK, then they’ve left under perfection. However, Sel Balamir teased a return with his closing words “London, We’ll be back soon.” Rest assured Sel, so will we.

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~ by justdip on 28/03/2013.

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