Q (UK) - - Incoming - MATT ALLEN

Good times, bad times. It’s been a topsy-turvy week for The Amazons. Tonight, the Q Awards Best Break­through Act nom­i­nees/Read­ing fourpiece – front­man Matt Thom­son, drum­mer Joe Em­mett, bassist El­liot Briggs and gui­tarist Chris Alder­ton – will cram their stam­ped­ing rock an­thems into Hack­ney’s Oslo club, their biggest headline show to date. The pre-gig chat re­gards a re­cent downer, how­ever. Days ear­lier, Thom­son no­ticed a por­trait of his model ex-girl­friend peer­ing down from a build­ing-sized bill­board in Lon­don, an irk­some spot­ting which ar­rived with just the slight­est whiff of serendip­ity: The Amazons’ forth­com­ing, as-yet-un­ti­tled de­but al­bum owes more than a nod to their per­ma­nent un­cou­pling. “See­ing that was a real kick in the teeth,” re­calls Thom­son with a laugh. “I’d lost her to the arty-farty crowd a few years ago when she went to col­lege in Lon­don. Our al­bum’s not a break-up record, but there are a few songs about her. In­fu­ri­at­ingly, I don’t think she cares that much…” That might very well change should The Amazons’ rous­ing cho­ruses and psych wigouts launch them into the fes­ti­val airspace re­cently pa­trolled by the likes of Cat­fish And The Bot­tle­men and the Cour­teen­ers. For­mer rock school alumni – “a Satur­day morn­ing class where we learned Arc­tic Mon­keys cov­ers,” ex­plains Briggs – Thom­son and Briggs first be­gan writ­ing twee acous­tic demos to­gether. With the ad­di­tion of Alder­ton and Em­mett, they dis­trib­uted their demos and CDs af­ter lo­cal shows. Thank­fully, a risky de­scent into an EDM rab­bit hole was aborted fol­low­ing a Foals gig in Oxford. “All the girls went to raves, but there was so much charisma on that stage, it blew the sense back into me,” says Thom­son. “I was like, ‘We’ve got to be a gui­tar band!’ Our songs be­came heavy and loud; darker and rawer. We were head­bang­ing, and we didn’t cut our hair for a year.” The Amazons know they won’t have any rea­son to trou­ble their stylists any time soon. De­but sin­gle Junk Food For­ever was cham­pi­oned by Ra­dio 1 last year which led to an un­ex­pected Ger­man arena tour in sup­port of Brighton in­die vet­er­ans, The Kooks. “We got in­vited on and it was like a lads’ hol­i­day,” says Em­mett. “It was our first ever tour and at that point we were play­ing gigs to 40 peo­ple at home. Sud­denly we’re in front of 7000. We were re­ally shit­ting it be­fore that first show.” Mean­while, their de­but al­bum is fast loom­ing into view. With it there should be plenty of chances to flex those neck mus­cles. Thom­son has grander plans, though. “Think of the records that af­fected you,” he says. “The ones that touched you, and made you emo­tional… We want to con­nect with peo­ple, grab them. We just want peo­ple to jump in with us, lose it and rock out.” Make space. At this rate, The Amazons might soon be look­ing down from a bill­board poster of their own, rather than peer­ing up at one en­vi­ously.

“So whose round is it?” The Amazons (from left, Chris Alder­ton, Joe Em­mett, Matt Thom­son, El­liot Briggs).

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