Amy Shark @ O2 Institute 3 Birmingham, 29 January 2019

Australian singer/songwriter Amy Shark had an eventful journey to the first UK gig on her tour, after finding two migrants hiding in her tour bus. Her album, Love Monster, is already award-winning in Australia after single ‘Adore’ hit the Triple J rotation, and she has a cult (her own word) following in the UK too.

Amy came to the stage in a gold sports jacket, her hair in her trademark style – half up in a top knot and half down. She’s got the look of a star and her self-assured attitude will no doubt take her far. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself how are you going to convince anyone else?

If you’ve never heard Amy the best way I can describe her sound is this century’s Avril Lavigne, with a splash of Blink 182 (who are one of her favourite bands) and a dash of electronics. She’s incredibly passionate on stage, giving her all both vocally and emotionally, particularly on tunes like ‘Drive You Mad’ and ‘Mess Her Up’. Her vocals get better as she goes higher up her range.

Although not sold out, the venue was busy. There was a lot of smoke so you couldn’t see much at the start, but it cleared as the set went on. The sound was good, particularly the drums and bass, and Amy had a black and gold backdrop with her name on.

Her 16-song set took us through many of the tracks from Love Monster, including singles ‘Adore’, ‘I Said Hi’ and ‘Psycho’ – which features Mark Hoppus. She also did a few numbers from her EP Night Thinker (‘Weekends’ and ‘Blood Brothers’), and a cover of classic teen anthem ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus, which had everyone singing along.

At the start of the evening we heard a set from support artist Kelvin Jones. His tone was great as was the addition of rasps and rawness when he really got into it, and he had a strong falsetto. He did expect a lot of audience participation right from the moment he came on stage though, which he did get from those closest to the front, but it would have been nice just to listen to him, particularly on songs like ‘Lights On’ and ‘Cry A Little Less’ without the breaks to tell people when they were supposed to be joining in.

Amy’s interactions with us ranged from stories of her European tour to making babies with David Beckham, and heartfelt appreciation for her fans. She revealed that her favourite track from Love Monster, and indeed next single, is ‘Middle of the Night’, with the video due in about a month’s time.

I can’t end this review without a shout out to the die hard, but very tone-deaf fan who was stood next to me singing all the way through. You were loving life!

Set List

  1. Do You Hear The People Sing
  2. Blood Brothers
  3. I Got You
  4. Weekends
  5. Don’t Turn Around
  6. Psycho
  7. Middle of the Night
  8. The Idiot
  9. Never Coming Back
  10. Leave Us Alone
  11. Drive You Mad
  12. Mess Her Up
  13. All Loved Up
  14. Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus cover)
  15. Adore
  16. I Said Hi

Reviewer: Chrissie Duxson

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