Archives: January 4, 2024

The Ambersons step into Christmas

Friday 1st December saw the return of the popular local band The Ambersons with their Christmas show¬† ‘Winter Songs’¬† at the Pyramid Arts Centre in Warrington Town Centre and what an excellent night it was.

Readers might recall I wrote a preview of the show on the 5th November this year and included a small section on the bands bio, but if you didn’t manage to read it here is the link to refresh your memory:

One of the founder band members Andy Fairnington hinted ‘Winter Songs’ was going to be something spectacular and word must have got around as the 250 seats sold out  quickly and on arrival at this contemporary venue there was a definite ‘buzz’ in the air. I thought it just might have been good timing, after all it was the first day of the festive season and people had been paid, but it was evident that people were quite excited about this night out and there were Christmas jumpers, baubles and deely boppers aplenty plus the basement bar was doing a roaring trade! 

So, armed with a pint and following a ‘once over’ at the strategically placed merchandise table (where I purchased a very nicely produced programme) the entrance to the auditorium beckoned and a glance to the right revealed a beautifully lit ‘Winter Wonderland’ on a 2 tiered stage with an ever changing visual backdrop throughout the evening. Then, right on cue the support act – Ben & the Believers took to the stage in a 3 piece electro-acoustic guise to perform a brief 25 min set that closed with their own Christmas song ‘Ring My Christmas Bell’ – a jaunty number with a Shakin Stevens type vocal that had a good few up and clapping along already, a sign of things to come perhaps? 

After a quick changeover and re-positioning of equipment the professional-looking three piece brass section and the string quartet took to the stage shortly before The Ambersons, who were greeted with rapturous applause from the home crowd. There was a lot of love in the air from friends and fans but the reception was heartfelt and the audience were delighted to see their return to the big stage. If the lads said they were a bit nervous they certainly didn’t look it, and with smiles all around the band launched into their well known song  ‘A little love’. Accompaniment from the brass and string section was a master stroke, it sounded full, polished and quite frankly superb. This was setting the tone for the remainder of the first set and the vocals from Midge and mixed harmonies were excellent throughout and dare I say, reminiscent of The Beatles and the Sgt Pepper Album! 

I could see people up on their feet dancing very quickly, the atmosphere was electric and kudos to the sound engineers as it’s not often you can distinguish the chords being played when 2 electro – acoustic guitars are on stage, especially in a larger room. 

After 8 numbers and great entertainment the set drew to a close with a very good rendition of The Beatles hit ‘ Lullaby ‘ and sadly for myself it was time to move to another engagement. However, my friends reported that the second set consisted of more of their own material and some covers including classic Christmas songs – ‘Merry Xmas, All I want for Christmas, Step into Christmas’ and an encore culminating in the often recorded ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ . Many commented it was equally as good as the first set but with a lot more Christmas fun and joviality and the ambience had stepped up a gear which can be seen from the abundance of videos circling on social media. Let’s remember that this was a show that was suitable for the children as well and I am delighted to report that the band had a videographer out that night and the footage is being edited as we go to print , I will look forward to that!

My final comment must go to the hard working band members including the brass and string sections , the volunteer ‘roadies’ and sound and light team for a magnificent evening. These events take a lot of planning and coordination and The Ambersons don’t have a huge entourage of staff following them around , it’s all done with good , honest graft and very well done to them all . Spectacular indeed Andy! 

Our focus is now on social media!

Morning folks , the website has now been running for about 6 months so it was time for a review of the statistics and I have made the decision that the focus will now lie on our social media accounts.

Don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere! The only impact on here is that I won’t personally be adding as many reviews or write ups. I already write a musical column in @warringtonworldwidemagazine and they are time consuming so I will leave the music reviews to guest writers if they want to contribute . However, I will still be posting news and events on here as much as possible.

Can I ask a big favour? Will you follow me on Facebook and Tik-Tok? The handles are On Instagram our handle is @unsignedhub.com_uk.

I am also launching a podcast as the statistics from my Tik-Tok experiments are showing the spoken word is proving far more powerful nowadays so watch out for the podcast via Spotify where I will be able to link tracks and get some guests in, exciting stuff and check back soon. Happy New Year everyone !