Blossoms @ Liverpool Olympia
Ah, Blossoms. Lovely, floppy-haired Blossoms. Since the release of their debut self-titled album it’s been hard to get away from them, and so far 2017 is turning out to be their year, what with being nominated for a Brit award and headlining NME’s Awards Tour. Rather than spending our St. Patrick’s Day day-drinking in Concert Square, my friends and I headed down to the Olympia for the Liverpool date of the tour- and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
There’s something about the start of a gig. The part right before the headline act comes on, when the venue’s playing tune after oh-so-familiar tune and everyone is SO READY for the main event; their arms in the air, bellowing the words. Kanye West’s Black Skinhead seemed slightly out of place amongst the Smiths and Oasis tracks being played all night, so it was the last thing anyone expected when Blossoms (arguably the coolest thing to ever come out of Stockport) burst onto the stage as it came to an end. It only needed their arrival, and the opening bars of single At Most A Kiss, for the entire place to be hooked.
What followed was an hour and a half full of tracks from what, in my opinion, was one of the best albums of last year. There’s no doubting Blossoms are going to be huge, whether they know it or not- the album went straight to number one when it was released. There’s an air about them reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys when they were at the same point in their careers; an ambitious young new band ready to do all they can to make their mark on the music industry- and people just love them.
The band rattled through nearly every track from their 2016 self-titled masterpiece (except Onto Her Bed, which made me a bit sad), and sprinkled in some lesser-known tunes from the extended version. Placing their signature 80s-sounding fan favourites like Blow and Honey Sweet in amongst slower, arms-in-the-air euphoric tracks like Blown Rose and Getaway had the 2,000 strong crowd hanging onto Blossoms’ every note and drum beat, and I found myself a new favourite song, b-side Fourteen, which I’d actually never heard before.
My personal highlight of any Blossoms set is dreamy acoustic track My Favourite Room, performed solely by frontman and beautiful indie angel Tom Ogden and his guitar. “Has anyone been dumped recently?” he asked the throngs of screaming fans, before picking someone out, calling out her scumbag of an ex-boyfriend on his apparently awful behaviour and then incorporating her name into the song. Using My Favourite Room as a way to call out people who’ve broken the hearts of their fans has become something of a tradition for Blossoms, as is the mash-up of classic 90s tunes You’re Gorgeous and Half The World Away that follow it. Hearing keyboardist Myles Kellock come in with the opening bars to John Lennon’s Imagine instead was therefore a total shock for me and seemed like something they’d done just for Liverpool. Tom didn’t even need to sing, as the whole place erupted into song, with people throwing their arms around one another and waving phones and pints in the air. The post-My Favourite Room singalong is always a goosebump-inducing moment, but there was something particularly special about this one.
Blossoms rounded up their set with album track Deep Grass, a calm before the storm that was the 2016 hit single Charlemagne. Even if you’ve never heard of Blossoms before in your life you’ll definitely know this one- and know we did. Mosh pits opened all over the room (and I do deeply regret dragging my brother off to one at the exact same time Tom looked my friend fully in the eye and handed her his setlist), people climbed on others’ shoulders, someone lit a flare and was promptly escorted from the building… it was perfect carnage.
I just know that Blossoms are going to be ‘One Of Those Bands’- indie legends, like Arctic Monkeys or Courteeners. The sort of band that sell out stadiums, the sort of band that get to number one with every album they bring out, the sort of band that everyone loves. Their blend of 80s-inspired tunes and five excellent haircuts already has a massive following around the world, and things can only get bigger and better from here on out. After you’ve seen Blossoms live you’ll want to see them a thousand times (and I know this because I managed to get tickets to their Birmingham date a couple of weeks later, and experienced it all over again). Think what you like about Blossoms, but I think it’s pretty clear that they’re here to stay and won’t be going away anytime soon.
“Liverpool, you’ve been amazing. We’re Blossoms from Stockport, goodnight!”