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  • Chris Farlie

The Long Road Festival: The Showground - Amber Saqladi

The Showground Stage at 10:15 on a Sunday morning might seem like drawing the shortest possible straw, yet let's not forget a year earlier we were reviewing Tim Protty-Jones on this very stage at a similarish time and this year he was to be found on the Interstate Stage - so things can change quite quickly. Our knowledge of Leicester based Amber Saqladi was admittedly scant but her three varied singles suggested that there was good reason to avoid having an extra doze.

Amber would open with one those aforementioned singles "Summer Rain" - with what seemed a number of autobiographical lyrics laced with personal details. The chorus would see Amber elongate the word rain across many syllables. From first single to first song properly written, aged 15, and also an available single "Save Yourself". At times almost conversational, at times it tried to squeeze the maximum number of words into a lone and then some more for good measure. Amber delivered her vocal with a degree of passion at times with a rapid fire style.

With a nice show of confidence, introducing her songs while playing the guitar part as she talked, her next tune was "Broken Glass", her most recent song detailing how she is feeling right now.The style was clearly different from the debut song, not as many words though equally as passionately delivered in both her vocal and guitar style.

Her next song "An Ode To You" was again accompanied by some strident guitar playing as she once again poured out her heart

"I don't want you to go - don't ever go"

There was a nice touch in the next song comparing the effects of falling in love and of getting drunk - "Liquor" came with another powerfully delivered chorus. While playing Amber was hopefully blissfully unaware of how much the breeze had picked up and seemed to be threatening to send the tent covering the stage flying off. The interplay of the words immediately made this one you wanted to hear again.

Ending on the line "You're the liquor for my soul" Amber finished with a little laugh and guitar flourish.

Dedicating "To Truly Love" to the assembled audience as being a song "I hope every one here can relate to today". Once again peppered with tiny personal details - this was a return to some rapid fire lyrics at times and a break in the fourth wall as she confirmed that one extreme line about crying was totally true. The set would close with "My Turn" about revenge - which saw Amber deliver with a slightly deeper vocal - it came with a compelling narrative

"I got you a one way ticket to hell -

Now it's my turn and you taught me well"

Certainly a name we'll be watching out for going forward and fully justifying our tip of being one to watch at Long Road.

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