Amanda St John
Thursday 30th May 2013 – Black Box, Belfast
Amanda’s EP launch was a success in every way, there was excitement, emotion and entertainment had be everyone there. Amanda and her wonderful band kicked the night off with a funky one from her EP, ‘Reach,’ the perfect way to kick off the evening. Her songs have so clearly been inspired by her past and the passion which she delivers them is touching. She drew the entire crowd in, so that we almost felt she was telling us personal stories from her past.
One song in particular that did this successfully was, ‘Come Back to Me,’ the way it was stripped back with Amanda’s voice and the piano was so raw with emotion that it touched every single person in the venue. ‘You’ll Never Change’ is another one off the EP that is equally as emotional but the musicality is slightly brighter in that there is hope and there will be light in the end. I particularly liked the appreciation that Amanda showed to her family and friends and everyone who got her to where she is, this added the personal touch and made it a much more intimate evening. She talked about her five year old before performing, ” I’ll be there for you,” singing the words every mummy there would want to say to their kids.
The evening was broken up quite nicely, keeping it fresh and moving. Katie Richardson from Katie and The Carnival, did an acapella cover with Amanda that was simply captivating. The different textures and tones of their voices blended together admirably and was such a pleasure to listen to. Katie also did a few songs of her own which Amanda’s drummer, Des Rice only learnt a few hours before performing, in what was a nice change of pace.
This then took us in to the last part of the evening, Amanda did a rendition of ‘You Got the Love,” it made even more of an impression as she made it her own rather than trying to imitate Candi Staton or Florence and the Machine. The evening ended with a cover of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ and Amanda revealing that there would be a surprise for us. The surprise…three break dancers joined in the fun up the front. A superb and unexpected end to a fantastic evening.