THE AMAZONS, one of the breakthrough bands of the year, returned to Southampton for their biggest show in the city so far.

Frontman Matt Thomson, guitarist Chris Alderton, bassist Elliot Briggs and drummer Joe Emmett ignited the 800 capacity Engine Rooms on West Quay Road with every song from their top eight debut album and more.

After years of playing local venues like Lennon’s and The Joiners this full production gig was almost like a homecoming for the Reading lads.

Tickets sold out months ago and the buoyant crowd were already singing back the chorus to first song Ultraviolet moments after the band came on stage.

Radio One favourite Black Magic, with its sweeping film score style introduction, was brilliantly fused with early EP track Millions to create an epic wall of sound, while the catchy middle hook of Little Something took things to another level.

Even Holy Roller, a song Matt describes as “a real deep cut” from the album had everyone singing along.

Fans had come from as far away as The Netherlands and there was a sizeable contingent from Portsmouth, a good sign ahead of the indie-rockers’ next south coast date at The Pyramids in February.

Unlike The Joiners in March, there was no chance for Matt to crowd surf off the stage, but afterwards, the band did a surprise DJ set at a packed Heartbreakers, the city’s newest music venue in Hanover Buildings.

Speaking to The Echo before the show, the lads were still buzzing after selling out the 2,300 O2 Forum in London the night before.

“We were up until 8am this morning, so you can tell from that how good it was” said Matt. “It was double the size of anywhere we’ve played before.

“Southampton shows have always been great for us too, right from the start. Tonight was the first date of this tour to sell out, so that makes it even more special.”

The band also sensed big things were happening at the Isle of Wight Festival in June. “It was the first time people carried on singing the chorus to Junk Food Forever after we came off stage, so that was another landmark for us” said Chris.

But perhaps it’s the hook in song Little Something that gave The Amazons a huge boost nearly twelve months ago.

“Matt came up with the riff while we practicing together” said Chris. “We had a gap in the song and he just played it, something really simple, but it’s caught everyone’s imagination.”

“With no chorus, it’s not a conventional song. In some ways it hard to believe it became a radio single” said Matt.

While the band are always discussing new ideas with their first album producer Catherine Marks, Matt explained that touring isn’t always the best time to write music.

“Being on tour is fun, but each day is fairly similar so it’s hard to be creative. It’s easier at home when you’ve all the time in the world and are part of real life.

“Having said that, we went to the Pink Floyd Exhibition on a day off last week and that got the juices flowing for new ideas. Today was different as we were really hung over, but usually I like going to museums and galleries, cultural stuff, in any spare time.”

Fiercely proud of their home town, The Amazons are thrilled that Reading F.C. are using Black Magic to walk out to on match days at The Madejski. They’re also looking forward to finishing February’s tour at The Hexagon.

“It’s usually a theatre lay-out but they’re going to rip out all the seats downstairs. Not many bands play there so it’s going to be special” said Matt.

The Amazons return to the south coast on Friday February 9, 2017 at The Pyramids, Portsmouth.