Blossoms: The Ruby Lounge, Manchester – live review

Blossoms

The Ruby Lounge, Manchester

July 25th 2014

Last week we ran a new artist piece about Manchester band Blossoms alluding to their “their effortless, flowing, woozy guitar pop”. Of course this wasn’t the first time we’d mentioned the band on these pages as also spoke about them when we reviewed their gig supporting James at Castlefield Bowl. The reviewer of that show, Martin Unsworth, also saw them headlining a show at The Ruby Lounge last week and his review of this show starts with his casting his mind back to their James show…

The night Blossoms supported James they exuded confidence, probably more than any young band should in the circumstances. Tonight, that self-assurance is ten-fold. With a crowd of friends and family padding out the crowd at the unsigned showcase A Northern Contribution at the Ruby Lounge, the band swaggers through their set as if they have been at it for years.

Blossoms: The Ruby Lounge, Manchester – live reviewAs the majority of the audience come in as late as possible due to the rare appearance of glorious hot weather in Manchester, the band open their set through a haze of theatrical smoke, which for the first few numbers gives the band a blue glow. It fits perfectly with the psychedelic groove that seems completely natural to this bunch of youngsters who wouldn’t have been a dribble, let alone a twinkle, when the likes of Moby Grape and Strawberry Alarm Clock were tripping out their thing in the sixties.

There’s been somewhat of a resurgence of this forgotten style of music over the past year or so. While bands like Jellyfish played with the format in the early nineties (and, let’s face it, should have been massive), the new brood have dropped the visual element which screams ‘sixties hippy’. Yet at no time do Blossoms come across as derivative. All the familiar beats are there: thumping bass, dreamy guitar, rhythmic drums, swirling keys (with an almost Hammond sound) but topped with a cock-sure vocalist whose style and demeanour could be compared to Ian McCulloch or Ian Brown, but with a much varied vocal ability.

The second song of the set, The Urge, features both an infectious bass line from Charlie Salt and a stunning organ break from Myles Kellock, which sets the tone; this band know how to structure a tune and are talented enough to make it look easy. This leads straight into You Pulled A Gun On Me, one of the only songs publically available at the moment, released on their sold out EP ‘Bloom’, a song that could easily be a massive hit with the right amount of airplay.

The rest of the set is infused with the same passion and harmony, an aural delight that one can’t fail to be swept along with. The final song, Lava climaxes with a hypnotic jam that highlights each member’s skill, and builds to a dizzying crescendo.

We’ve said it before, but this is one unsigned band worth keeping an eye on, as they have the potential to be something really special. The band hopes to release a single soon. We can’t wait. Check them out now before they become massive.

Setlist:

  • Goodbye
  • The Urge
  • You Pulled A Gun On Me
  • Scattered Rain
  • Come Sunday
  • Cut me and I’ll Bleed
  • Blow
  • Lava

 
 

~

Blossoms play Stockport, Blue Cat Cafe tonight (August 1st) and The Situation’s Big Summer BBQ in Leek tomorrow (August 2nd.)

You can find out more at the band’s official website: blossomsband.co.uk. They’re also on Facebooksoundcloud and the tweet as @BlossomsBand.

All words and photos by Martin Unsworth. You can read more from Martin at his Louder Than War author’s archive. Martin also tweets as @liverecs.

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An aging rocker, whose tastes are as eclectic as they come. Other than music, is a writer and Assistant Editor of STARBURST MAGAZINE - the world's longest running magazine of cult entertainment. Also hosts It's Only Rock n' Roll every Tuesday on Fab Radio International.

1 COMMENT

  1. Blossoms are from Stockport, not Manchester. It’s a bit like saying a band from Birkenhead are from Liverpool.

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