For the last few months I’ve been telling anybody that would listen about this great band Empyre and their tremendous debut album Self Aware. I have also been saying that at the first opportunity I was going to see them, and Friday was the day, making a 300 mile round trip to catch them in their home town of Northampton, playing their first gig since lockdown closed down the music business.
The venue was The Black Prince in Northampton. A garden acoustic socially distanced gig and it worked very well.
Opening up were another Northampton band The Big Dirty, who well and truly lived up to their name with a set filled with sexually based lyrics and raunchy stage antics. They were, however, very enjoyable and got the evening off to a good start.
The main event, however, raised the bar significantly. Empyre produced a spellbinding acoustic set that drew mostly from their album Self Aware but also threw in a couple of interesting covers, which I hadn’t expected. Although not the style you would expect from them their versions of Hotel California and Purple Rain were certainly crowd pleasers.
It is, however, their own music which will carry them on the undoubted path to success. Songs like Drive, Cut To The Core, Just A Ride, Stone and the truly outstanding Only Way Out can only be described as class and the whole Self Aware album shouts play me.
After the gig I and the 1066 Sound listeners that came along, Paul, Debbie and Amy Darnell, Anne Shuker and Martyn Collins were able to chat to the guys and they were such a nice crowd, posing for pictures and agreeing that they would keep 1066Sound up to date with their music and activities.
So was it worthwhile making the 300 mile round trip……it certainly was and I will be taking to the road as often as I can to see these guys, hopefully fully electric soon.
Just a word on the venue. The Black Prince has done a fantastic job in making sure that Northampton has a live music venue. Erecting a stage in the garden and a huge marquee over the tables was inspired. Manager Oliver and his team are doing a great job at keeping punters safe whilst letting the music play.
I have added some photos of the night and the link to Empyre’s YouTube Channel. Please check them out and support great music. Empyre are Henrik Steenholdt (Vocals & Guitar), Did Coles (Lead Guitar & Vocals), Grant Hockley (Bass) and Elliot Bale (Drums)
Author: Tony Davis 16 August 2020