It’s been a long time (too long) since I was last packed into the smaller room of Liverpool’s O2 Academy for a gig. It’s a lovely intimate, yet still relatively big time setting, despite being stupidly sweaty for sell-out shows.
Tonight one of the hottest bands in the UK, Blossoms rolled into town as part of their pretty huge UK tour, with the youthful exuberance of Rory Wynne and Declan McKenna in tow. The two young support acts will be better for the experience despite being rather drowned out in the patter of the noisy Liverpool crowd. Wynne opened with pacier nods to rock ‘n’ roll, offering a fresh take on the style and his confident lyrical delivery is great to see for someone his age. McKenna then took to the stage in full one-man-band style. Controlling beats and synths whilst occasionally flickering his guitar. His raspy vocal is one of pure potential and for someone so young his single ‘Brazil’ is nothing short of a masterpiece. Unique in both style and execution, these two are destined for big things, however I’m not sure we’ve seen them in the best light tonight.
Blossoms then took to the stage to a decent reception from a relatively lively Liverpool crowd. Having played a fair few dates in our city over the last couple of years the band have picked up a fantastic following here and it shows in the numbers that turn out here time after time. They arrive tonight though in better shape than ever before with new buzz single ‘Charlemagne’ in the set alongside the preliminary workings of their debut album. Kicking off with the tried and tested combination of ‘Cut Me And I’ll Bleed’ and old classic ‘You Pulled A Gun On Me’ – the track anyone who’s been a fan since the start still has a huge soft spot for.
Sounding about as tight as they ever have live, the Stockport bunch received a shout from the crowd during an interlude between songs, asking about a release date for their debut album, to which frontman Tom Ogden replied: “sometime next year, do you want to hear a new song from the album now then?” – I think you can imagine the response to that.
The new track in question then, titled ‘At Most A Kiss’ features dirtier guitars than anything they’ve released before as well as a more synth-pop tinged chorus, another sign of the evolution of the band, who are now more than album worthy. The rest of the set was lined with the remaining three tracks from the Blown Rose EP with chirpy ‘Madeleine’ allowing Josh Dewhurst to psych crazy on lead guitar. Sexy groover ‘Smoke’ and of course ‘Blown Rose’ itself also got run-outs.
The Stockport five-some finished their set in style with sing-a-long friendly number ‘Blow’ – sang to the rooftops by the Liverpool crowd, before jamming creatively to a rapturous finish. Liverpool most certainly embraced the evolution of Blossoms tonight and as usual Blossoms embraced the love of the Liverpool crowd, merging together for a vibelicious night of psych-pop majesty.
Words Jake Marley