Having supported established Manchester groups James and the Courteeners, Stockport band Blossoms are now playing renowned venues in their own right, on the back of just one single, continuous gigging and word of mouth. Having barely began their first UK tour proper; it’s time to discover more about the band highly regarded as one of, if not the best new band from the North West.
Frontman Tom Ogden and co have also been rewarded with support slots for the Charlatans and the Inspiral Carpets on their upcoming tours, but October and November has been reserved for Blossoms and their first headline tour which has been good to date.
“There have been great receptions in each town and the crowds have been good. It’s all growing at a fast rate while we’re in the bubble which you can’t see from the outside. Liverpool was really busy”.
Things have moved intensely quickly for a band that only formed last August, although you could say it’s been years in the making for five lads who all struggled in mediocre local bands, before they formed a “Stockport super group”.
“This time last year we were playing to 3 people in the roadhouse. We played in Brussels in January this year, and before we got over there we were told it was just going to be an average venue. When we got there it was like a small jazz room with nobody there. It was basically a stripped out house, underneath the railway, all red lighting, and there was arms and legs hung from the ceiling. By the time we got on stage there was no one there, but three songs in it was like a night walk. 50 or 60 people who had walked round Brussels late at night walked in. You could smoke indoors as well, it was a Smokey brothel. A music brothel”.
Their first single ‘Blow’ was released on November 20th.Blow combines driving guitars with swift vocal melodies aplenty to create a contemporary, yet anthemic rapture of Manchester brilliance. Released through Liverpool’s independent label Skeleton Key Records, the track was supplemented by the Coral’s James Skelly who runs the label along with Brother’s Ian and Neville
“We’re not actually signed to them, as in a record deal, it’s more of a platform. Hopefully we want to sign to a major record label, which would be the plan. It’s really nice working with James, because he’s just really easy going and he adds little bits of flavour to each track. We work really well together”.
And although some fans are already demanding an album from the still unsigned band, the group admitted they’re not planning on releasing an album just yet.
“We’ve got the material for it, but there’s no set date or plan. I think it’s best to wait on something like that until you’ve got more fans. We’ll release some more singles first”.
Blossoms’ musical influences range from the Doors to Abba while Ogden’s vocals skills are easily likened to Alex Turner or Miles Kane. And while music from the 60’s is obviously important to Blossoms, there are a number of different audible references that Blossoms draw from, one being Psychedelia, and already people are comparing the band with UK psych contemporaries such as Temples.
“I get annoyed with the psych reference. There are elements in there, but there are elements of everything. I think there’s only one song that’s quite ‘psychy’. It’s just people being lazy, I think we’re more ‘poppy’, more Abba. I think if one person puts in a review ‘psychedelic’, then most of them just copy and paste. It’s not a terrible reference; I just think it’s in fashion at the moment. Initially we had a bit of interest from heavenly records who signed temples and have a few psych bands under their belt. We don’t have anything against psych; it’s just not our thing. But we were turtle necks and use a lot of delay”.
And the choice of on-stage attire was something I was keen to talk about, as it’s fast becoming the most talked about subject aside from the music.
“I think it’s visually pleasing, we’re unified as one and nobody’s trying to out-do anyone. I think it looks good, you go to a gig and come back thinking “Who was that band wearing all black?” A lot of people have picked up on it. I think because it’s like a Stygian black, it goes really well with the lighting, and works at any venue”.
The clothes and the music add up to create a band cocksure of their own ability which is a regular pattern in bands from music haven Manchester.
“I think you’ve got to have that self-belief if you want to make it and do this as your job. I don’t think we’re arrogant, but we do believe we’re a brilliant band, and the songs are great. I think arrogance is missing from bands these days. People can be too nice. The self-confidence of Manchester bands could be an influence. I’ve grown up listening to them, but maybe there is a pattern that a lot of good bands come from Manchester, and they don’t come from Bristol. Going back to the Doors, Jim Morrison could come across as very arrogant, but people mistake shyness for arrogance”.
“We want to be as big as we possibly can. We’re an unsigned band from Manchester who have been together since last August and we’re about to sell out the Deaf Institute. Good tunes take you a long way. I think we have good tunes. There are a lot of bands out there with good sounds, but not good songs”.
It’s been said before but here we have a band on the verge of doing something really special, a band that have great tunes, a great sound and a great attitude, a band that see their music going worldwide.
All words by Josh Norcliffe. More from Josh can be found at his Louder Than War Author Archive.