Live Review: Blossoms – Stockport


5th August 2016, Stockport Plaza

Words & Photo: Gary Lambert

blossomsstockportgig1 gary lambertWhen you are walking to a venue and see a sign directing you to the nearest air raid shelter, followed by getting directed to your seat by a man in a white bow tie there is almost a feeling that you had somehow managed to step through a hole in the space time continuum. After all, why else would Stockport seem like the most important place on earth for one night only? Something must be wrong!


Well something would be wrong if it wasn’t for the fact that the boys from Blossoms are not just a tremendous band, but also civically proud and have a taste for the special. Midnight Friday 5 August saw the release of their debut album, so rather than have a late night opening and signing session at HMV, Blossoms hired out the local vintage theatre and decided to blow everybody’s socks off instead.


From the moment I walked in and heard the pianist playing indie staples and classic songs in a retro fashion suiting the Art Deco stylings of the hall I was certain that this was not just a gig, but truly an event. Speaking to Blossoms’ Merchandise Maestro, “The Orb”, I received a couple of copies the free programme printed for the night. Designed in a twenties theatrical fashion, it listed the cast, support and friends – and lyrics to all the tracks they were to sing that night. As if anybody in the crowd needed any help with that as we would see.


Support act, Dantevilles, were on a hiding to nothing. With everybody there to see Blossoms, they could have faded off to a few indie staples and nobody would have noticed. Except they became part of the event too with a cracking set full of songs I have a feeling we are going to hear more of over the next eighteen months. Coming on stage they opened up with a thirty second a capella intro from the two vocalists that was part northern terrace chant, part Beach Boys harmony. Straight away it grabbed me to think that this was more than landfill indie. As the entire set proved with funky eighties rhythms being the bedrock for some tight numbers. The lads finished by thanking Blossoms for putting them on the bill and getting them on Radio One earlier in the week. I thank Blossoms for bringing them, potentially, to a wider audience.


Now then, if you want to know about the music of Blossoms’ set, go out and buy the album. Or buy it online after you have finished reading this review (you will have already read our review of the album no doubt). It is a cracker. The set was the album played from start to finish, but this event was about so much more than the music.


Firstly it was a celebration of Stockport. Coming on to the stage to “Stockport, That’s Where It’s At” by Frankie Vaughan, the band entered holding a banner with their now-familiar “I Love Stockport” logo. Throughout the night there were references to the town where all five members were born and brought up (Stepping Hill fact fans). And unlike watching bands from say Walsall, The Wirral or Slough who might celebrate their birthplace in defiance of the local big city, this was as though the rest of the universe did not matter in comparison to Stockport. I turned to the person sat next to me at one stage and said “imagine being sixteen and from Stockport, right now you would think that you were able to conquer the world”. I have not felt a vibe like that since the heady days of 2 May 1997 when New Labour had defeated the Tories and it felt like the youth had all of a sudden taken over the nation led by Tony Blair and Noel Gallagher.


This was also the moment when I realised that the career curve of Blossoms makes perfect sense. The album is made up of tracks that we have heard over the last few years in the main and there is a difference between debut release Blow and the iconic Charlemagne. Yet Blow, that psych-ish beauty of a song, was treated by the audience in the same way as the wonderful stomper that opens the album. Why? Because the Blossoms sound has been honed not changed. They have the ability to unite those who want to put their arms around each other and sing Carling-soaked choruses, yet at the exact same time they are creating wonderful, big instrument driven tracks.


Tom Ogden is almost certainly the next great frontman. From the early days of the band it was obvious that he had more than his contemporaries when on stage. Tom has presence, wit, humility, and a singing voice which is better than most, yet not so classically trained that it makes the audience feel that they cannot compare to him. He is also turning into a style icon going on the amount of kids who looked like him. Unless he has about thirty five eighteen year old brothers.


Thank you Blossoms, and Stockport, for one of the best nights in years.

Check out our Blossoms album review here.

Read our Blossoms interview and see the photos here.

3 Responses to “Live Review: Blossoms – Stockport”
  1. Keith Flamée says:

    opening song from the brilliant Blossoms at Stockport Plaza.


  2. MARTIN CLARK says:

    Lovely review that nails last night’s event completely.

    Liked by 1 person

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