Back to Hackney, to see Amber Arcades again. Jon and I saw them at the Moth Club in Hackney in October last year. There’s a bar/ restaurant on the ground floor which is very good – nice food and a good range of IPAs. It’s in a converted railway station and has an excellent vibe. This time we went upstairs for the gig, after a couple of beers. A decent space – room for a few hundred.
I’ve written quite a lot about Amber Arcades before, not least because I made their album, Fading Lines, my No1 of 2016. I still love the record. It is always uplifting – just great, dreamy indie/pop, with some shimmering guitars and infectious beats.
So it was just a celebration, for me, of some of my favourite songs of the past year. We got a couple of new songs near the end, which I think are still works in progress. The first, with a working title of “Rock Song” was a bit pedestrian, as that title might suggest. The other had the trademark guitars and melody, which made it promising. I found a couple of the slower ones from the album, “Perpetuum Mobile” and “Constant’s Dream” the most affecting tonight, with Annelotte singing beautifully, as ever.
The wonderful “Come With Me” and “Fading Lines” were played early on; and “Turning Light” was the last song of the encore. No surprise, as it is their flagship song. It was rockier than before. Lead guitarist, Manuel, let rip at the end, and gave the song a new dimension. I think it might have been making a virtue of necessity, as keyboard player Ella was missing. So “Turning Light”, like a few of the other songs, was stripped down a bit. Still really good, but lacking just a bit of that swing, which is such an appealing part of their live sound.
The sound quality was OK, but not the greatest. I thought maybe the speakers were a bit too powerful for the venue. But it was still another really enjoyable concert. Annelotte mentioned that they’ll be at the Roundhouse in April, supporting Grandaddy. Sounds like a good reason for another visit to Chalk Farm!