Blossoms: Gorilla, Manchester

Stockport band Blossoms released tickets last month for two shows in Gorilla, Manchester – a matinee show and an evening show – to celebrate their eponymous debut album, which was released August the 5th.

Sticking to their roots the band chose local talent to support them for both the Gorilla gigs, and their album release performance at Stockport Plaza three nights before, opting to invite Manchester based band Dantevilles to do the honours. From the minute Dantevilles stepped onto the stage to open the Matinee performance, it was clear why they’d been chosen. Opening their set with completely acapella vocal harmonies is a bold choice, however it definitely paid off. The crowd were completely hooked by the unfamiliarity of the bands entrance, which then continued throughout the performance thanks to the originality of the bands melodic, guitar based songs combined with the pure energy they oozed on stage, which was contagious. The set included newest single ‘Perfect Place’, along side ‘Sea of Change’ and closing the set with the single ‘It Might Be Tomorrow’ which they informed the crowd had also been played on Huw Stephens ‘BBC introducing’ show last week. An additional nice touch from the support band was the free CD’s being handed out in the crowd featuring the previously mentioned three singles alongside two other songs. A band with great stage presence; a very bright future; and a great lead in for what was to come.

The audience’s excitement following Dantevilles uplifting performance soon turned into a deafening singalong, as the likes of Oasis’ ‘Live Forever’; Arctic Monkey’s ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’; and Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ were blasted through the speakers in the build up for Blossoms entrance.

The yellow-tinted bulbs at the back of the stage were switched on, and Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ began to play. Blossoms entered the stage to screams and applauses, before beginning their set with ‘Cut Me And I’ll Bleed’.

From listening to the bands previous EP’s and more recently their debut album there was no doubt in my mind that musically they were an incredibly talented group of boys, and front man Tom Ogden is yet to write a bad song. I did, however, doubt the rock n’ roll element of the band. I had hoped for the best, but nevertheless had my concerns that it could have been an occasionally bland performance. They have the song writing and talent of Noel Gallagher or Albert Hammond Jr. but I wasn’t convinced they would have the edge of Liam Gallagher or Julian Casablancas, the real entertainment factor. However, I can confirm that my doubts were proven completely and utterly false, much to my relief! Tom Ogden, whilst having an abundance of talent, was an exquisite front man and performer. Everything from the way he chatted an interacted with the crowd to the way he was dressed proved he was a star.

Opening the set with ‘Cut Me And I’ll Bleed’ and ‘At Most A Kiss’ gave the band the chance to show what they were capable of, the songs sounded rockier and had the crowd bouncing from the get go. The band played the album in full, however not in order leaving biggest hit Charlemagne to close the set, as would be predicted.

Mid-way through the set the band left the stage, leaving Tom alone with his acoustic guitar to play ‘My Favourite Room’. He asked if anyone had ever been dumped, before dedicating the song to one girl, changing the lyrics in the song from ‘did you think how might I feel?’ to ‘did you think how might TJ feel’, the name of her ex boyfriend. This part of the show really illustrated how comfortable the band have become performing. Ogden was very relaxed, joking with members of the crowd and making everyone feel very involved. It also showed how far the bands support has come, as at the end of the song Tom no longer had to sing as the crowd finished the last chorus for him, which was then followed by renditions of ‘You’re Gorgeous’ by Babybird, and Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away.’ He then went on to perform ‘Onto Her Bed’, a song from the new album.

Songs such as ‘Smashed Pianos’ and ‘Texia’ released only days before the gig in the new album were yet to be cult classics, however definitely showed their potential as the crowd sang along to the choruses with ease, and will no doubt be alongside songs such as ‘Blow’ soon, in which Ogden’s job was once again made easy as the crowd finished the song for him.

Finishing of course with Charlemagne, there was a definite feeling of sadness as the band could’ve played for another hour without complaints. Blossoms have had incredible success already in their careers, but still not nearly enough. The future is very bright for this band so grab the chance to see them as soon as you can, you won’t regret it.

(Main picture by Andrew Benge from their album launch, HMV Leeds, 9th Aug 2016).