Oslo, Hackney – 18th January
Annelotte de Graaf and her band may have only arrived into London at 5am on the day of their gig at Oslo, however their sleep-deprivation does not translate into a lethargic performance; instead, they thrillingly replicate the hazy energy of last year’s debut album ‘Fading Lines’. The Dutch artist behind Amber Arcades explains to the audience how a six hour Eurotunnel delay scuppered their plans of exploring the city, before she quips, “This next one is for the Eurotunnel!”
Annelotte’s voice is understated yet commanding, meandering through sweet melodies. There’s an optimum balance of jangly guitars and slower, contemplative moments such as the enthralling ‘Constant’s Dream’. Album opener ‘Come With Me’ draws the most vigorous head-nodding from a politely appreciative crowd; however, if the surprising mosh-pit for Alvvays at Leeds Festival 2015 is anything to go by, then she can perhaps hold out hope for a more raucous response in time to come.
The two new songs that work their way into the set suggest Amber Arcades shows no signs of slowing down in 2017. One has the pleasingly straightforward working title of ‘Rock Song’ and is a highlight of the set, with its propulsive drums contributing to its immediate impact. The other unnamed track is included as part of the band’s “first ever” encore and is a slower beast, building into something deeply mesmerising. Annelotte teases the prospect of a five-track release, due “April-ish”.
‘Turning Light’ closes the set as an epic finale and another indication of her ability to step up to bigger stages. She is on the right trajectory: she’ll be returning with her band to The Roundhouse in April, supporting Grandaddy (something Annelotte says they are “psyched about”). If tonight is anything to go by, Amber Arcades will be making that North Sea crossing many times.
Listen: Amber Arcades – Fading Lines.
Live: Roundhouse, 3rd April.