Before their recent gig at Trinity I had the privilege of hanging out with the lovely guys of Amber Run with Lewis Watson.
After forming in their hometown in January 2013, the band started collaborating; writing songs whenever they had a spare moment not spent at Nottingham University – which they all attended. “It gets such a bad reputation of being called ‘Shottingham!” Drummer Felix revealed – wryly referring to previous high number of gun crimes that occurred in Nottingham.
The guys are currently homeless after their housing tenancy ran out in July (an inconvenience I’m sure all newly ex-students can sympathize with) so decided to live out of their bags on the road, ” We’ve just been doing festivals, no point getting a house straight away. ” The foreseeable future holds more living out of bags for now.
This isn’t the first time Amber Run has played in Bristol. Earlier this year they made an appearance at Dot to Dot festival, a 14 hour treat of live music involving a huge array of venues and up-and-coming bands across Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham. “We actually arrived stage time for Dot to Dot due to the traffic getting down from Manchester” They assure me that they don’t usually cut it so fine!
They also previously played at Thekla, the venue actually holding the proud title of the first club that bassist Tom went to when he was sixteen. Drummer Felix is a self-admitted fan of grimy venues and tells me that Thekla, in his eyes, holds the number one spot for sticky floors – “No offence”.
Alas they do not have any say on where they play, claiming that if they did they would perform in large venues. Joking that despite wanting to play in large venues they probably wouldn’t have anyone to fill it – “Hello 02, yes you the guy at the very back”. I asked them if they would rather play bigger venues or smaller venues keeping it “safe”. They responded saying they would play any venue they could sell out and they appreciate anyone who takes the time to come to their show. “We always make an effort to speak to people after the show.” The intimacy between their fans is important to the band.
Talking about highlights of their time together as a band a few particular moments sprung to mind but the one that stood out was their tour with Kodaline at Brixton 02 academy in March earlier this year. They loved the sheer size of the venue and the amount of people who attended. Isle of White and Bushstock festival were amongst their highlights “We did a show in a church where people were jumping on the pews “. The band talk fondly of big shows with their eyes widening with excitement at the thought of it, however small shows are fun as people tend to “Lose their minds” during them.
Touring isn’t all fun and games, with being away from their families and the constant shows it can be tiring and mentally challenging . “On tour you can get really lethargic” Will states but continues on to say that despite being tired now he knows as soon as he gets on stage he’ll be filled with adrenaline; “When you get on stage its just nuts, its so fun“.
The band have only been on a few big tours but with all the festivals make it seems like more – “We do like 3/4 days in a row so its kind of like a mini tour – 12 mini tours”.
They realised that they’d started becoming big when they played Reading and Leeds festival on the BBC introducing stage. Officially only getting together a year and a half ago, they’re still a small band with many tours to come I’m sure.
Amber Run currently have three EP’s out and the latest one “Pilot” which was released in September. Talking about their latest EP they collectively described it as having 3 sides to it. First track Pilot is upbeat, Thank You an anthem and Right Now moody. “This EP has challenged us the most” and it definitely paid off. The EP is indeed a collection of those three elements and it sounds great.
Amber Run can’t get enough of Bristol, the band were sure to mention the Apple Cider Boat, home of the 8% cider. If a good cider isn’t a good enough reason to come back to Bristol, I don’t know what it is!The Band are playing in the City of Bristol once again on the 4th November at the Louisanna.
By Hannah Ryan