Gaining a substantial following in a relatively short space of time, everything is coming up roses for Stockport five piece Blossoms. With Tom Ogden’s vocals, Josh Dewhurst on guitar, Charlie Salt on bass, Myles Kellock on keys and Joe Donovan on drums, we met up with the five piece in a little café in Stockport to talk about life so far as a band.
Quick fire round…
Most likely to fall over on stage: Myles
Most likely to forget their instrument: Myles
End up in jail: Myles
If the van broke down on tour, who is most likely to be kicked out and made to push: Charlie and Joe
Biggest target for practical jokes: Myles
Actually, we’ve got pictures of Myles about to be thrown in a river at Kendal Calling. Did that happen?
Joe: No, we nearly did.
Tom: Should we make some mad story up now…
Myles: What happened was I was severely depressed because I stole some beers and I set myself on fire so they had to throw me in a river, but luckily as the photo was taken I wasn’t on fire anymore.
Tom: I blew him out
Charlie: Just say he spontaneously combusted.
Josh: The first recorded case of spontaneous combustion was Myles.
Members of Blossoms as described by Blossoms…
Tom – lazy, unfathomable, funny, different and happy.
Charlie – wise, humble and chilled.
Josh – sound, unique, weak and cool as heck.
Myles – funny, annoying, unstable and a bag of fun.
Joe – Control freak, eager and quote Myles “you just piss me off sometimes”
Festival season – how’s it all been?
“Really good, it’s been a new experience for us” says Tom.
Charlie continues “We did two gigs at Kendall Calling, we did one on the main stage and one in Twin Peaks on the Friday which is obviously like a small chalet café thing which was a great gig. So that was one of the highlights I’d say.”
Tom laughs and adds “Myles nearly getting thrown out of Kendall Calling was funny anyway ‘cause he was like a child being told off by the head teacher.”
Is this when you stole some beer?
“Yeah. We had a rubbish rider so Myles went to get more but he got caught” says Tom.
“Yeah, I was dead sad.” Adds Myles, looking rather sorry for his actions.
So, musical influences – who are they and what do you draw from them?
Tom: “My favourite band is Oasis, but I don’t think our songs sound like that. A lot of the time you write like what you’re listening to at the time, or something new you find. There’s obviously some of that classic pop song writing engrained in it from my point of view.
“You’ve always got to be switching yourself on to new stuff because you might just get an influence from somewhere you don’t really expect. But everyone else has their own influences, like Charlie’s big on disco, kind of chic basslines, Then Josh is into like his funky Shawn Lee kind of stuff. Myles plays the keyboard like he’s playing the drums on a table and Joe is just… Joe. Joe doesn’t try get a drum fill in every gap, he let’s the song breathe and so Joe’s drumming allowed Charlie to be more free.”
Growing up. How did you all meet and how did Blossoms form?
Tom: “Me and Joe have been friends for 10 years and when I was in an old band Joe used to come and watch me play.”
Joe chimes in, “I used to work at the Alma Lodge and then yeah this guy was like “I’m after a drummer” and I was like “I can play a tiny tiny tiny bit of drums” and then that’s how I met Charlie.”
“So they started a band through this mutual friend, and Josh was in an upcoming band when he was like 15” adds Tom.
Joe: “I knew Myles because he used to live on my road”
“Until my parents tragically divorced and I had to move away,” Myles explains, adding a darker twist to the story.
Joe continues, “We were going down the A6, me and Tom, and we said that’s a good name for a band and looked and pointed at The Blossoms pub. A week later Charlie did the same thing and then I was like, light bulb.”
Tom explains, “We just decided to like jam ourselves, nothing serious. I saw Josh play in his other band and thought he was really good so selfishly we just said let’s get him. So we started off as a 4 piece. Myles was a mutual friend of getting pissed up in a flat. He was always there and then one day after a few drinks we said “we’re looking for a keyboard player” and he overheard and put his hand up. He had a broken wrist at the time and he said he could play the keyboard when he couldn’t really, he could play like one chord. So he blagged it, and then I came round the next day and were like right we’re rehearsing and he was like “Jesus, are you serious?” and then, we’re here now. 2 years later.”
Are you all from Stockport?
Tom: “Born in Stepping Hill, all of us.”
Tell me a bit about Stockport’s musical heritage…
Charlie tells me, “Back in the 60s it was a thriving touring city. The Beatles played here, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, all came through Stockport. There’s a website called Manchester Beat and there’s loads of different forums on there in case you’re interested.”
“Strawberry studios in the 80s like, the Smiths recorded there… And then like, obviously you’ve got the baggy Manchester scene and that was like Manchester’s thing. And the Strawberry Studios shut down and it’s been pretty dormant and now we’ve er… lit the fire,” Tom adds.
Do you think it’s the musical heritage of Stockport that made you interested in music?
“Not really,“ says Tom. “I think it’s just what my mum and dad are into. That’s how I got into music because from being a young age they’d show me things and songs get ingrained into you. Like all the Oasis songs, I’ve been listening to them since I was like 3 or something, and then you delve backwards. You find Oasis then you find The Smiths, then The Beatles.”
What would you say the best part of working together is?
Tom says “It started off as just something to do and now it’s got serious, but it still is something to do. It’s better than just sitting at home playing a video game. We still get to do that as well but it’s travelling up and down the country playing places you’ve never been. Even to Japan.”
“It’s just the best thing ever ‘cause you get to do your favourite thing ever full time as your job,” adds Josh.
What’s the best thing about playing live?
Joe: “Looking at Oggy’s ass.”
Things seem to have escalated quite quickly, how has that been?
Tom: “We’ve just worked really hard like we decided we’d have a strict rehearsal regime where we’re rehearsing 4 times a week and we kind of lost touch with the outside world a bit.
“You even lose some friends and stuff like that, we made a lot of sacrifices but we really wanted to do it and then we kept gigging all the time but we were picky with our gigs cause some promoters want you to sell the tickets when that’s their job we don’t want to do that. But yeah luckily we met S.J.M concerts, who’s now our management. They’ve been a big help but yeah when you’ve got a booking agent and good management you can tap onto big things. “
What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve had to face so far?
Myles: “Being skint? That’s what it is. ‘Cause you need to invest all your time into it and we all quit our jobs like 12 months ago, didn’t we?”
Tom elaborates, “Yeah, people think that it’s all… I don’t know, but there’s a lot of hard work before you start seeing a financial benefit. We’re not in it for the money but there is a point where it’s like, how many times can you ask your mum for a tenner, do you know what I mean? But for the band, obviously we’re getting money for the gigs, but we’re always pumping it back in.”
Charlie: laughs, “There was a time when the highlight of our week was a sausage and bean melt from Greggs. You just don’t take anything for granted whether it’s just a gig or supporting Peace in Japan. You never forget your roots. That’s very important.”
The new single Charlemagne is out now – watch the video here.
Blossoms have just signed to Virgin EMI Records and set off on a thirteen date UK tour. Catch them live at Leadmill in Sheffield on 8th October.