This acoustic in-store gig took place in Chester (Doc. Martens) 2 days after their debut album release. For the first week of their album release, they travelled around the U.K. to different retail stores (primarily HMV) to perform both acoustic and electric covers of their songs from the debut album “The Amazons”. These intimate sessions with the public and fans certainly helped promote the band and contributed to their album reaching number 8 in the official charts. Back to the gig in Chester, it was open to the public FOR FREE and it was the perfect venue for the event. Although they were an hour or so late, it was definitely worth the wait with a large queue outside the door and upon arrival, they were very apologetic (Don’t trust Maps on a Mac is the moral of the story). In seconds the store was packed with new fans, parents and a buzz from the general public.
The first song they played was an acoustic version of “Black Magic” – some footage of this song can be found on our Twitter page:
At first I was unsure and worried if they could duplicate the same sounding riff on acoustic guitars, however, they harmonised the parts within the riff. This fitted perfectly and ended up being just as good as the electric version.
Shortly after, they then took song requests from the audience (one of which included “Nightdriving“) which was a single that didn’t even make it to their album. I find that any good musician can be put on the spot and be asked to play one of their songs in another key or even mix it up and that’s exactly what The Amazons did – they didn’t just play the acoustic songs on their deluxe album, instead they interacted with the audience and created an experience that everyone enjoyed (even the parents that were dragged in by their kids).
At the end of the acoustic session, the whole band reunited and were happy to sign CDs, posters and any band merch. During this interval, I took the opportunity to ask the lead singer; Matthew Thomson what he thought about the album and more specifically the critical review NME had left them after rating the album 3/5. He replied with “F**k NME” and continued to say:
“We are here to create the music we want to create, we are not here to listen to reviews. As a band, we’re happy with the album and the fans are happy with it too so why should we worry about their opinion, at the end of the day the critic is paid to have an opinion and that’s all it is – one person’s word”.
This is something that I believe every aspiring musician has to prepare themselves for when thinking or pursuing a career in music, there will always be some people that have a negative opinion on your work, but that’s all it is. Some people take it on board and change their whole style just to fit that one person or you can shove it and do what the hell you want. The whole acoustic session was a first time for me, but definitely worth it. I would strongly advise seeing these guys in concert (especially as they are touring at the moment).
Cheers lads, Cameron Smith.