THEY have been playing the main stages at this year’s biggest festivals, but now Reading rockers The Amazons are stepping away to work on their second album.

Talking to The Daily Echo at a rain soaked Victorious Festival and before their final appearance of the summer, front man Matt Thomson, guitarist Chris Alderton, bassist Elliot Briggs and drummer Joe Emmett said fans would not have to wait long for new music.

“We are pretty deep into second album territory now,” said Matt, “I think we’re going to record it at the end of the year in Wales.”

Joe added, “We had a break during festival season and holed ourselves up in Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula to write a bunch of new songs before coming back to England to demo them, so that side of things is done.

“And now we’ve an affiliation with Wales, we’ve decided that’s where we’re going to go back and record it.”

The band are linking up again with acclaimed producer Catherine Marks, who was behind their self-titled top eight first album. Matt said both parties have plenty of new ideas for new music.

“We’ve sat down with Catherine and talked about the kind of stuff we want to do and where we want to go, and, luckily, we are all in the same place in terms of a vision for the record, though, you never know, we may go into the studio and change direction completely.

“We are all listening to similar music at the moment and we want to make the same kind of record.”

Fans won’t have to wait too long to hear what they have in mind as the band hope their second record will be released in the first half of 2019.

“We want to have an album ready by the time we’re into next festival season,” confirmed Matt.

While most of us will remember 2018 as a rival to the long hot summer of 1976, The Amazons have not been lucky with the weather at their festival appearances.

“We’ve been nearly rained off every time,” said Matt, who with the rest of the band had to play on the left hand side of the Victorious main stage to avoid rain sweeping in from the Solent.

“At Y Not in Derbyshire, it was so windy that it was only confirmed we could go on stage at the last minute.

“It was the same at Stanton Calling in Hertfordshire, where we had to cut our set due to the conditions. Kendall Calling was bad too, but at least we were in a tent for that one.”

“We’ve been fighting the elements nearly the whole time,” added Joe. “Only All Points East, in London in May, had beautiful sunshine.”

This year The Amazons have found stages big enough for their stadium sized songs and audiences have been huge, but, after years of touring, they still have an affection for smaller venues, including one in Southampton celebrating its 50th year.

“The Joiners, and other places like it, are a huge part of the British music scene, which in turn is one our biggest assets as a nation,” said Matt.

“We’ve played there three or four times, and we needed to keep returning because the first time was rubbish!”

“Places like The Joiners, Deaf Institute in Manchester, The Horn in St Albans and King Tut’s in Glasgow are vital and need to be looked after,” added Joe.

“Where else is there to cut your teeth as a band? If they fall by the way side then what is there left, what will new bands or artists do?”

As well as The Joiners, the band also played Lennon’s in Southampton in their early days, and were the first big name to DJ at the city’s newest venue, Heartbreakers, after their sold out gig at The Engine Rooms in October.

The Amazons plan to release a short-film before the end of the year of their trip to Asia at the beginning of the year. It will have a new original soundtrack and a theme Matt described as “other worldly”, one that captures the inspiration they all experienced there.

“We had a really good time, and thank goodness we had the cameras rolling to capture everything,” said Matt.

Matt Goff, who took the band’s iconic album cover photograph of their van blowing up and was with The Amazons at Victorious, directed the film, as he has done so many times before for their music videos.

Later this year, lead singer Matt will speak to a BBC Introducing audience of artists keen to go further in the music industry. What experiences is he planning on packaging up as advice to them?

“I’ll just share some of our stories, including the tough times, and if that doesn’t deter people they may be determined enough to succeed.”

One team they would like to inspire to glory is Championship side Reading F.C, who they all support and who have been playing one of the band’s singles when the players run out.

However, with only two points from their first five games, it does not seem to be working so far this season.

“I’m worried it’s become a terrible omen,” said Joe. The players are running out to a song called Black Magic, the clue is in the name!”

“Don’t get me wrong, we love hearing our music being played at the Madejski, but it doesn’t seem to be doing them any favours at the moment. Perhaps they should change to one of our other tracks!”

The Amazons self-titled debut album and new live EP Come The Fire, Come The Evening are out now.

Richard Derbyshire