Gig Review: The Amazons at Rock City

Words: Benedict Watson
Photos: Max Harries
Tuesday 11 October 2022
reading time: min, words

Following on from an acoustic intimate show at Rough Trade and a surprise set at The Bodega in September, The Amazons returned to Nottingham on Sunday night to play a full band show at Rock City…


The Amazons made the great choice of partnering with BBC Introducing on this tour to provide support acts. This means that each stop on the tour has a different local support act chosen by BBC Introducing, and Nottingham’s act was the fantastic Cucamaras. This was my fourth time seeing Cucamaras (whose name is inspired by the Nottingham bar if you were wondering!) and they have never disappointed with their intense brand of post-punk.

Their enthusiasm for playing unreleased songs can be frustrating, but the half-hour set displayed their qualities well, with Winners Chapel being a personal favourite with its Foals-esque guitar. I believe that Cucamaras have real potential to become a recognised act in the UK - and playing to a large Rock City crowd will have definitely helped to build their fan base.


Whilst not sold out, Rock City felt pretty busy by the time The Amazons took to the stage. Starting with How Will I Know from new album How Will I Know if Heaven Will Find Me, they played a satisfying 18-song setlist that featured many new songs and some old favourites. Their heavier songs translated better to live performance, with the track In My Mind particularly standing out. Mother also saw the creation of huge mosh pits on the Rock City dancefloor.

Playing nine new album songs from a possible eleven may have been a little overkill, especially as I believe that at points in HWIKIHWFM, The Amazons fail to reach the heights of some of their previous music. Wait For Me has a pretty unimaginative guitar line, whilst There’s A Light and Say It Again fail to pack a punch. Nevertheless, Bloodrush is an instant Amazons classic, whilst Ready For Something matches the intensity of previous hits like Doubt It.


The Amazons had a good stage presence all night and seemed genuinely likeable and enthusiastic to play live. An acoustic performance of Nightdriving, which had been called for by fans on their Discord channel, was a nice touch, and the way they recounted the venues they’d previously played in Nottingham was also appreciated by the crowd. They encouraged the audience to put their phone torches on for ballad Northern Star, which did work well to create an emotional atmosphere that was in stark contrast to much of the intensity of the rest of the gig.

As all the best sets do, the gig reached a crescendo near its conclusion. Junk Food Forever received a raucous reaction, with fans enjoying howling the lyric "Don’t want to be alone". It was then time for the two-song encore, starting with the aforementioned Bloodrush before predictably sending the crowd home to the tune of biggest hit Black Magic. A passionate Rock City audience, with many Amazons T-shirts on show, seemed very happy with what they’d seen, and hopefully The Amazons will be returning to Nottingham to provide another great night of guitar music soon.

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