Review – Sweet Amber at The Soundhouse, Friday 17th May 2019

With Cornflakes at Kelly’s, Entwives and Shackleford

Reviewed by Yuki Hozumi.
This gig was organised by The Soundhouse.

On the way to the venue, in order to fill my stomach, I bought a pack of five white chocolate cookies at a supermarket. After munching three cookies, I got bored and put the rest in the pocket of my leather jacket. On the other hand, the line-up of the show was not like the biscuits. The four different musical tastes offered by the bands coloured the night with unique styles.

They entertained, from the start to the end, by making us feel excited about every moment.

The show started with Cornflakes at Kelly’s, a four-piece punk rock band from Coventry, with an act that was full of vigor. The joyful, bouncy beats behind the lively voice of lead vocalist, Jack, gave a feeling of being under a blue sky. And James’s, shouty vocals, and Tyler’s, backing vocals, enhanced the essence of punk. The band also included an acoustic guitar song that showed the multiple aspects of its music.

Cornflakes at Kelly’s Photo: Yuki Hozumi

Later on, Entwives, from Leicester, demonstrated their own melancholic rock style. Their songs were filled with sensitivities that young people might have. However, to overcome the amplifying drum sound, gradually the lead vocalist’s voice was becoming louder and more energetic, as though the drums were his heartbeats. The contrast between tenderness and loudness seemed to emphasize the messages that the band would be thinking about in daily life.

Such moods led to the band interacting with the audience.

Entwives Photo: Yuki Hozumi

As a third act, Shackleford from Nuneaton, stepped onto the stage and, as soon as their performance started, the catchy and speedy rhythms suddenly stimulated the audience to form mosh pits. The layered, bold sounds composed by the dynamic Dan, the powerful voice of Ross’s vocals and bass, Dave’s, vocals and guitar, and the skillful guitar playing of Dickkie85, were almost pushing us back by the sound waves.

Needless to say, the members were chugging beer between songs like lorries consuming a lot of fuel.

Shackleford Photo: Yuki Hozumi

At last, Sweet Amber, the four-piece, Leicester-based band, excited us with their mellow and moody sounds. Smoothly, people in the venue started swinging shoulders and stepping along with the danceable rhythms. In particular, the melodious guitar sounded jazzy or classy rock, and the lead vocalist’s slightly hoarse voice was harmonized well with the guitar. And at some point, they also played a cover song of Believe, from Cher.

By the way, they attracted a wide range of people, to their audience, from young to mature listeners. Each style of the three bands was satisfying visitors’ minds until the end of the show.

Sweet Amber Photo: Yuki Hozumi

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