Liverpool’s O2 Academy venue, almost hidden away on the corner of Hotham Street, behind the city’s main train station Liverpool Lime Street. On a chilly Friday night, Liverpudlians, students an travelling fans queued outside for the visit of Stockport five-piece Blossoms. The psychedelic indie rockers returned to Liverpool after recording several tracks there for James Skelly of The Coral’s record label Skeleton Key at the famous Parr Street Studios. They also played at Liverpool Sound City festival earlier this year. Their visit came on the fifth night of their October tour, after selling out Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut and Leeds Brudenell Social Club.
Fellow Stockport lad Rory Wynne opened proceedings as the venue gradually filled up. Kicking off his set, with the in-your-face garage rock track ‘Post Party Confusion’. Going on to play an impressive set of indie rock songs with a punky edge, including a song reminiscent of the White Stripes’ anthem ‘Seven Nation Army’. Gracing the stage with a cocky and stylish swagger like a 16-year old Alex Turner, with the wonderfully simple lyricism, songwriting ability and northern twang to match.
Next up was this year’s Glastonbury emerging talent competition winner and the second 16-year old support act of the night, Declan McKenna. The London musician stood alone on stage surrounded by loop pedals, looping drum beats and backing vocals before playing an impressive set of indie pop songs with blissful vocals. The recipient of a £5000 talent development prize earlier this year did not disappoint as he approached his final song. “If you’ve heard any of my songs, it will have been this” he announced before playing his breakthrough track ‘Brazil’. The often-called ‘anti-FIFA song’ is based around allegations of corruption against the world football governing body and the 2014 World Cup. Combining brilliant lyrics with stripped back acoustic and chiming keys, it’s a worthy finale to a fantastic set. Expect to see more of Declan and Rory soon.
At 10 o’clock, Blossoms emerged from the darkness in a cloud of mist and blew the speakers up with fan favourite ‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’ to a warm reception. Going on to play, the sixties psychedelic-drenched breakthrough ‘You Pulled A Gun On Me’ and brand new single, indie pop banger ‘Charlemagne’, the Liverpool crowd were loving every second.
‘At Most A Kiss’ was a brand new song they wrote for their debut album, and was one of the first times they’ve played it live. It brought a more hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll sound to their set and presumably will to their album.
At Most A Kiss live at Leeds Brudenell Social Club 07/10/15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAdLH-ih0LA
After catching the audience off guard with the heavy guitar and drums of At Most A Kiss, Blossoms barrelled into their July single, breezy pop song ‘Blown Rose’ and an old favourite thrown in for good measure; the wonderful ‘Madeleine’, not for one second losing their ever-present self-assurance and air of confidence.
Before playing ‘My Favourite Room’, frontman Tom Ogden asked the crowd if there was anyone in who had just been dumped. Receiving an overwhelming response, he spoke to an audience member at the barrier who told Tom his girlfriend was with him but she was wasn’t all too happy with him. Tom then announced that the following song was ‘from Danny to Charlotte’.
The penultimate track of the night, ‘Smoke’, a song requested by none other than yours truly, had people clambering onto each others shoulders. Not girlfriends but fully-grown men. An audience member even managed to scale the barrier and sit on the edge of the stage, happily singing along, with no security opposition whatsoever.
‘Blow’ was a fitting finale to a brilliant show. The song that could well have captured the hearts of many a Blossoms fan prompted a massive singalong. The band stopped playing for a while, with Tom egging on the singalong shouting “One more time but louder”. They then burst into a busy jamming session and left the stage to a barrage of applause and cheers. Blossoms didn’t respond to the crowd’s relentless chants of “we want more” but did hang around to meet fans on the street outside the venue.
Blossoms ending their set at the O2 Academy with Blow: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YXhGDPIWBNMmNmcTZ5a0ZNc3F5ODZKaGsxM016VlhfZUZN/view?usp=sharing
You could sense a mutual feeling amongst the crowd of watching a band who are about to hit the mainstream when their debut album, which they started recording two weeks ago, is released to the world. Blossoms are a band you want to catch in a small venue while you can.
Tickets are still available for the rest of the tour, including the big finale at the Manchester Ritz with support from Hot Vestry. Dates at the bottom of this article.