The Lemon Grove Loves Amber Run

by Rasagnya Gurung

_Photo credit: The National Student._

On a very rainy night on the 28th of September, Seafret sang “it feels like there’s oceans between you and me” at everyone’s favourite venue in Exeter, the Lemon Grove. However, the concert itself was quite the contrary. Amber Run, with opening acts Seafret and Psychopomp, played to a small audience of about 75 people.

Psychopomp were the winners of last year’s Battle of the Bands, and they took to the stage like absolute champs. They wowed the crowd as they performed with the confidence of veterans, despite being relatively new to the scene. Up next were Seafret, the up and coming indie duo from Bridlington, perhaps best known for their song Oceans, which saw Maisie Williams star in the music video. Seafret played their best hits, including Atlantic and Oceans, and mesmerised the crowd. I was covered in goosebumps by the end of their performance from the sheer intimacy of the crowd singing along so enthusiastically to every song they played. A short break followed their performance which saw the band members humbly mingle with the crowd and perhaps most shockingly, buy drinks at the bar. Of all the amazing things I have had the honour of witnessing in my life, watching Seafret buy drinks at the Lemmy just like I did 20 minutes ago, is very close to the top of my list.

After about 20 minutes, Amber Run stepped to the stage and it was truly the moment everyone was waiting for. From the start to the end, the crowd sang in unison with the band. It was a moment of pure serenity as everyone just danced and sang to beautiful music. Unlike lots of bands, Amber Run sounded just as good live as they do in the studio. A significant member of the band was missing (their drummer quit in 2016), but they didn’t let that influence the performance in any way. Not only did they play enchanting music, but frontman Joe Keogh ensured that it was an interactive evening for the audience. At one point, he even brought up the touchy subject of mental illness, discussing how the band members suffered from depression and anxiety, but were working towards improvement. He encouraged the audience not to shy away from conquering these demons. After leaving the stage, the band surprised the crowd by coming back for three more songs before tossing their set list in the crowd and calling it a day. Later, the band members spent time with the audience; they took pictures and signed autographs for the fans.

All in all, it was definitely worth bearing the pouring rain for and I would recommend an Amber Run gig to everyone. The band is still on tour so make sure you grab a ticket for a venue close to you.