Amplifier: Live At The Exchange

Impressive, career-spanning bootleg from Sel Balamir and band.

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With the successful Mystoria under their belts, Amplifier’s confident riff-driven swagger is turned up to eleven in this show, captured at the Bristol Exchange in April.

Naturally, the new tracks such as groove-led Meaning Of If, expansive Open Up and Named After Rocky, sound as huge as might be expected, but older material such as The Consultancy bears up predictably well too. The precipitous O Fortuna from Insider is an inspired and rare inclusion and a euphoric highlight of the set, while the closing trio of Panzer, Motörhead and Airborne are nothing short of mighty, as is their encore of The Wave. As a ‘bootleg’ release from the band it also delivers the vicarious thrill of the atmosphere of the room, the in-jokes and banter that characterise an Amplifier show. It might have been nice to have had The Octopus, Matmos or Interstellar on the setlist for a change of pace, or indeed the classic UFOs from their debut LP, and notably absent are any tracks from EPs Eternity or The Astronaut Dismantles HAL. But, still this is a snapshot of the band in time, and as such it’s a brilliant artefact of this period in their career and a welcome stop gap until their next studio LP.