Stockport’s rising Blossoms, who supported The Courteeners at Heaton Park in July (alongside Peace and Bipolar Sunshine) have termed their own unique sub-genre ‘Ethereal Nostalgic Sonance’. It does sound painfully pretentious but their tunes are trippy, chilled and dreamy, with indie-pop vibes softening the psychedelic mystique. The band, who started out in 2013, have just released their newest single ‘Charlemagne’ and are currently working on their début album whilst touring.
The five piece played at Rescue Rooms on the 10th of October with two support acts. Casually walking on late, the group came across as if they’ve been touring and performing much longer than their two years of experience as Blossoms. They started out with the older, better known singles ‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’ and ‘You Pulled a Gun On Me’. My plus one, who was a stranger to their music, stated that the songs played were distinctive and memorable; it was true it left you humming the melodies days later and gave you the urge to research their easy-going tunes.
After the banger that was ‘Charlemagne’ and their echoing ‘Madeleine’, a song from their upcoming debut LP, was played. Should the rest of the new album be as strong and idiosyncratic as that song, it will most likely push their emergence further up Manchester’s music scene. Lead singer and guitarist Tom Ogden interacted well with (or should I say, humoured) the more vocal of the audience, those being the most inebriated at the gig. It was pretty standard stuff; quips, regards to band mates, announcing the next songs and gesturing excessively for the audience to clap. However, it was all down to Ogden to keep the audience’s attention. The other four members hardly seemed to realise that they were on stage and became a moody, barely active backdrop to the spectacle of their front man.
“The group looked like they’d been touring and performing much longer than their two years as Blossoms”
There was a crowd dis-pleaser with the declaration that they were slowing down a bit with a sad song for anyone who was a ‘dumpee’ which was met with a little dissent and was probably a signal for some to take a trip to the bar. A diverse set is never a bad thing, however the whole ‘this is a song to listen to when you’re down about someone’ didn’t suit the setlist of songs to get you dancing, nor did it suit this young and unprecedented, laid back Manc band dressed in black. It seems they took the hint that we didn’t want a sad song as they immediately plunged us into the dark and seductive ‘Smoke’.
It all ended with the explosive ‘Blow’ single that got the crowd buzzing the most after Ogden stated “this is your encore mate” to the emphatic drunkard at the back demanding more than one last song. True to his word, the bass cut out and the five abruptly disappeared having only played for around forty minutes. It was short, new and left us unsatisfied, feeling we deserved more from such a fleeting yet promising and intriguing act who came across as, Ogden excluded, just wanting to play and get off stage ASAP. Possibly due to nerves, possibly the draining tour experience, possibly smugness from their growing success or possibly the desire to outgrow smaller venues quicker. Nevertheless, they were certainly confident with their image, set list and their ability as a relatively unknown band to bring something a bit different to the famous Manchester music scene dominated by older indie-rock bands and the new ones that follow in their footsteps.
In the end, Blossoms were smooth and entertaining performers, not shy and completely in their element, just full of attitude and potential, playing flowing, whimsical, kaleidoscopic songs mixed with indie lad band vocals tinged with a range of prominent influences such as The Stone Roses, The Doors and The Beatles.
Emily is currently listening to ‘Sign On’ by RAT BOY
Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham’s IMPACT Magazine.