While an awful lot of people – many of whom really should have known better, or perhaps possess more money than sense – were heading towards the city centre restaurants armed with inanely worded cards and over-priced flowers in order to “enjoy” equally over-priced meals in a vain attempt to prove their affection for les beaux or belles on their arms, a small people carrier headed out of town and into the hills of County Antrim to allow those on board to display their true love for the art form that is rock ‘n’ roll. And yes, the PM team were among that small and happy band as we returned once more to one of our favoured haunting grounds, the legendary Diamond Rock Club – and the debut appearance there of Scotland’s favourite feisty female threesome, The Amorettes.
There could have been no better act to open proceedings than Norn Iron’s own fastest rising stars, Maverick, who are a band with whom more and more fans in this part of the world have been falling for over the past two years – and especially since the release of last year’s truly ferrific ‘Quid Pro Quo’ album, which gets another good seeing-to this evening. ‘Snakeskin Sinner’ slips and slides its way out of the speakers, off the stage and slithers its insanely catchy way around the dance floor; ‘Paint By Numbers’ – the first single to be taken from the aforesaid album – by contrast grunts and growls, while ‘Got It Bad’, with its slightly edgier groove, is as about as romantic as the boys get on this Hallmark Day (© The Dark Queen). ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Lady’ is as rowdy and rambunctious as ever, but also sounds heavier with every outing – just as the five lads themselves get tighter and tighter with each live show. ‘Shackled’ – the anti-Valentine song of the evening – is unchained and predatory, while ‘Cat Got Your Tongue’ also grabs you by the proverbials before the band bring their part of the proceedings to a suitably ‘Electric’ (or “the one with the big wanky solo” as frontman Davy puts it!) conclusion.
Having watched most of Maverick’s set from the middle of the dancefloor – and obviously enjoying what they saw – Kilmarnock’s favourite export seem completely unfazed as they immediately ‘Grab The Bull By The Horns’ (taken from their own forthcoming, Chris Tsangarides-produced album) and unleash a typically feisty firestorm of punky rock ‘n’ roll. Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing The Amorettes in the flesh, as it were (and this is this reviewer’s fourth such, erm, pleasurable experience in just over six months!) knows these three killer kweens are not afraid to break sweat and raise hell with shows that have more balls than nearly every male in the room put together.
Inititally sounding like The Runaways, L7, Girlschool and Rock Goddess all rolled into one ingloriously sexy package, musically the girls have come leaps and bounds in recent months – something emphasized by the almost Hendrix-esque intro to ‘Son Of A Gun’. The songs are simple hard-driving rockers, built from Hannah’s solid, 4×4 beats, which underpin the understated and effective tunes, which in turn are delivered with playful, “we don’t give a fuck what you think, we’re just hear to enjoy ourselves” energy and enthusiasm. And, yet again, they prove that they can not only stand shoulder to shoulder with the boys in terms of cheek and placing their tongues therein, but also outdo them, as their suitably roof-raising finale of ‘Hot And Heavy’ more than adequately demonstrates.
Photograph of Maverick taken by Paul Verner at Limelight 1, Belfast, November 2014.
Photograph of The Amorettes taken by Robbie Rooney at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, December 2014.
The Amorettes open for Black Star Riders and Europe on their forthcoming tour:
Tuesday March 3 – Belfast, Ulster Hall
Thursday March 5 / Friday 6 – Glasgow, ABC
Saturday 7 – Newcastle, O2 Academy
Sunday 8 – Leeds, O2 Academy
Tuesday 10 – Nottingham, Rock City
Wednesday 11 – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
Friday 13 – Manchester, Academy
Saturday 14 – Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
Sunday 15 – Exeter, University
Monday 16 – Bristol, O2 Academy
Wedneday 18 – Bournemouth, O2 Academy
Thursday 19 – Norwich, UEA
Friday 20 / Saturday 21 – London, Shepherds Bush Empire