Live Review: Blossoms – Sefton Park Pilot

Blossoms

Sefton Park, Liverpool, 1 May 2021

Words by Gary Lambert

festival_republic_sefton_park_pilot_posterIn my life I’ve seen Bowie headline Glastonbury; McCartney play Helter Skelter live for the first time; and forgotten the amount of bands I’ve seen in half-filled back rooms go on to bigger and better things; but I’ve never been to a gig this important.  Very few people have.  Waking up on the Sunday morning felt like Christmas Day – but the worst Christmas Day ever where I couldn’t play with my presents until later that night.

There are a myriad of arguments that can be made over everything we have faced for the last year and a bit – and these arguments will run and run.  But at some stage we have to start living like normal again and take that leap of faith into the unknown.  So if you did go to this gig please remember to send off your post-gig test too.  It is important that people are able to analyse the show.  Plus there are prizes for doing so!

As expected, everything went without a hitch getting into the venue.  The security teams were friendly and efficient.  For me, this was a very important factor in what the day was going to be like.  If the first line of people at the gig were nervous and overly safety-conscious it might have got people on edge.  Everybody was cool instead.   It made for a vibe.

I know how much people hate paying monopoly prices on booze and drink so I had expectations that you would see a large number of people being sat down outside the fences with a beer waiting for Blossoms.  I misjudged how much people had missed this.  The last hour before Zuzu took to the stage saw the crowds filling up the big tent, dancing and bellowing along to Katie Owen’s DJ set.  It was like the last song of the weekend at the This Feeling tent in a festival.  But over and over and over.

IMG_1824As much as The Lathums and Blossoms are strongly associated with the Liverpool music scene due to their associations with Parr Street Studios, having Zuzu as the opening act was a masterstroke.  It turned a party into a celebration by creating a moment of civic pride.  Her opening words, “one small step for scousers…”, lifted the tent like a hot air balloon, her custom made sequin cape reading “Come Together” couldn’t have been more apt either.   Zuzu and her band played like their lives depended on it.  Their set was euphoric and beautiful.  I’m still hoarse now from roaring along to every track.  Well for all but one song of it actually as Zuzu also dropped Timing (I think, I made no notes as I was too busy having fun), the debut single from her debut album.  It felt especially like the girls who had got to the barrier for Blossoms three hours later had suddenly found a new queen to lead them, a caped warrior-prin with guitar, scouse matriarch acerbic wit, and perfect make up.  We may be biased due to our close relationship with her, Zuzu even did a Popped Music Instagram takeover during the show, but the show belonged to our Zu.  The musical cocktail of indie rock, pop and cool as fuck was dangerously intoxicating.  Do not drive after Zuzu.

The Lathums are a band who lockdown could have destroyed.  At the start of 2020 they had a world of momentum behind them, sell out signs going up constantly, an exciting, busy festival slate, and it was snatched out of their hands.  I think it says a lot about the future of this four-piece that they seem to have come out of this period as a stronger, tighter unit.  And they have that intangible quality that moves people from liking a band to absolutely loving them.  You’re either in or you’re out with The Lathums.  It’s wonderful to see a band evoking such passion in their fans.  As you watch them there feels a near-physical connection between the eye contact of frontman Alex Moore and every member of the audience; who thinks he is singing just for them. And that won’t be lost as they gain more fans and play bigger and bigger stages as they fit this one perfectly.

IMG_1846We’ve loved Blossoms since before they were releasing Blow and were playing in basements.  But you always knew that they were a step ahead of the game, they were the ones who would lead for the rest to follow.  Sefton Park Pilot proved why they are that band.  With a greatest hits set that pretty much everybody knew every word to, it was the piece de resistance on a wonderful day.  Tom Ogden is the best indie frontman in the business at the moment – and I include your favourite nostalgia acts in that.  He knows how to control an audience, and lead the band.  And he never misses a note.  Blossoms as a band don’t miss notes or beats.  They’re perfect.  Joyful, heartfelt, and constantly growing as musicians.  Looking at the big screen and seeing Joe drumming like a monster with a massive grin on his face was one of my personal highlights.

Blossoms have some heavy tunes in their arsenal too.  There’s A Reason Why, Your Girlfriend, and Blown Rose were standout moments; Sunday Was A Friend of Mine was special; and Charlamagne…  Well Charlamagne was everything.  Everything we have missed.  Everything we wanted in that moment.  Everything we want to be able to have going forward.  The opening track to their eponymous debut is still the Stockport quintet’s calling card.  It is a beast of a song, and we worship that beast.

Sefton Park Pilot, I’ll never forget you.  If you were there, don’t forget to send your PCR test in on Friday.  It’s really important.

And so is live music and togetherness.

Love.

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  1. […] – After the gig the whole world seemed to be watching in Sefton Park, it’ll will be so exciting to watch Zuzu and her band tearing up a small stage once more.  She […]

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