30th April, 2016
Review by Ewa Kubianka
What an eclectic evening! We not only had a pleasure of hearing the new tracks from Amaryllis first hand, but were also indulged with a quirky selection of exciting up-and-coming young bands.
The Garage in Highbury & Islington, due to its confined space, provides an intimate atmosphere where you can truly immerse in the experience. By the end of the evening the division between the crowd and the artists has pretty much disappeared.
The evening started with a powerful performance from Defences. Emotional and intense, this Hertfordshire-based alt-metal quintet opened the night with a blast. Charismatic vocalist – Cherry, stole the show with an energetic performance.
Next on? Eva Plays Dead, fronted by the blonde bombshell Tiggy, with a mesmerising presence and a glass shattering voice. They proved to be a truly outstanding act fusing metal, rock, blues and punk into a very refreshing mixture. Yet again the singer completely stole the stage. What started as a soft bluesy vocal was gradually transformed by the powerful bass and killer riffs into a mighty wail worthy of the fiercest of the 90’s riot grrls. By the end of the set, Seb Boyse – the drummer, decided to rearrange the set up and put half of his drum kit in front of the stage, facing the band to perform an intense instrumental closer.
Third band of the evening was the most unexpected act of all – Youth Killed It. They have recently undergone a massive transformation from “Under the Influence” into a more mature (well, not really) band. They definitely lightened up the atmosphere with a brilliant sense of humour throughout. Their humorous introductions, however self-deprecating, were a great hit with the audience. “We used to be a metal band but then we realised we couldn’t play metal, so we play this shit.” Referencing pretty much anything from Ali G to Ian Beale, their lyrics are clever, funny and relatable. Funky baseline hooks turn the rock/grime mixture into very catchy tunes you can’t get out of your head.
Finally, after a short wait, Amaryllis took to the stage. This female-fronted Surrey/London based alt-rockers need no introduction, having proven a hit not only with music publications but most importantly with their loyal fanbase. Sadly, it seemed like they had to storm through the setlist, due to the limited time on the night, however that didn’t make them compromise on the quality of performance. Their album launch show performance with the powerful “Nova” and got the crowd involved from the first notes of the song. Sante – the singer, is phenomenal when it comes to engaging with the crowd and from the first moments she got the audience under her spell. Successful hits, such as the new single “Thorn” and the old favourite “Stand Down” got everyone excited, jumping and moshing, as encouraged by Sante. When the slow and melodic “All we have” came on, Sante ordered the audience to sit down, just to ask them to jump up when the chorus kicked in. Amaryllis finished the night with powerful and energetic “Vixen” prompting everyone to form a mosh pit. Definitely an evening to remember.
Between the Lies
All We Have