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Empyre - Live at The Waterloo Music Bar, 23rd September 2021

Photo credit: Louise Newiss
Photo credit: Louise Newiss

One of the most highly anticipated tours of autumn 2021 is Mason Hill’s Against The Wall extensive run of September shows where they are joined by St Ives rockers Hollowstar and Northampton’s shining stars Empyre. And it’s this last band that we are to focus on. Tonight the tour hits The Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool and there’s a very interesting atmosphere within the venue voted the Best In The North West: images of the Empyre trademark Lyon are visible in every corner: on T-shirts, on caps and even tattooed skin. Empyre may be opening the show yet with every member of the capacity crowd having already chosen their spots at 7.30pm, this clearly doesn’t feel like a support slot. The welcome the band receive as they hit the stage suggests this has more of an Empyre homecoming. Blackpool has massively embraced this band, and it’s with a huge roar that My Bad is welcomed as the set opener. This first track from their debut album Self Aware is quickly followed by the album’s second song Stone, and fans are clearly enjoying the familiarity as they sing along to every word, though it’s soon time for something new. Over the last 12 months, Empyre have been busy writing and recording new material and it’s now time to introduce the first of 2 new tracks that they will play tonight. Cry Wolf announces itself with thumping, driving rhythms, punctuated with an extended musical breakout and attention-securing time changes. Fan favourite Drive is next up before the second new song, Forget Me, is introduced to the audience with the line “You might not like it…” . This could be considered as perhaps an insecure way of presenting new music, but we believe this is simply a humble statement reflecting the band’s desire to give their fans only the very best. With its clean pedal intro and volume swelling guitars, Forget Me offers an originality that we have come to expect from Empyre. Closing the 6 song set tonight is the debut single from Self Aware New Republic. Judging from the crowd’s intensely euphoric reaction, Empyre have dealt their musical cards beautifully. As the final bars of the track ring out we reflect on how as well as writing groundbreaking music, Empyre have clearly considered the full gig experience. Throughout their performance, videos from their singles play on large screens and we also enjoy sequences of heartwarming images of the band - a modern day scrapbook - which follow their incredible journey. And tonight’s show has also served to build huge anticipation for the new album. The new music is instantly enjoyable, and just like the debut Self Aware, the tracks have depth, substance and a complexity that will ensure the songs will continue to release their secrets over time We are witnessing a band presenting huge growth and it’s something incredible to see unfold right in front of us.


To find out more, visit www.empyre.co.uk. In the meantime enjoy the photos and fan-filmed video for Cry Wolf below.