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Blossoms come to Bristol

Just a quick heads up. Don’t expect Bristol’s O2 Academy to have any reception. Somewhat ironic given its sponsor. That’s if you’re on EE at least. However, the chap in front of us had plenty of reception. He even found the time Snapchat videos to his girlfriend. “Emily, Emily… I miss and love you so much. After the gig let’s cuddle and do coke?”

Unfortunately for this young lover, texting with the phone above his head to capture the band playing wasn’t the best idea and soon backfired. Prying eyes from the boys drinking lager in the nearby rows behind soon picked up on the message to Emily. As you can imagine, this led to only one thing. ‘Young lover’ soon became victim from a constant wave of humiliation. An onslaught of abuse with demands for cuddles. As you can imagine, all further snapchats were kept private by hiding them close to his chest.

And that’s the great thing about going to gigs. Who knows what will happen. The same can be said for the Blossoms, an indie pop band only formed in 2013. I hadn’t really paid that much attention to them. It was tough to miss their first album which proved to be an indie sensation. Their second album stuck with the clean cut 80’s vibe but snuck by unnoticed relative to their debut. I needed to go and see what the fuss was about. 

First impressions? Lead vocalist, Tom Ogden enters wearing a white silk shirt with Travolta style collars and a crushed velvet suit in rouge. Suave. 

Flashing neon lights in red and blue outline, the hazy shadows of 5 lads from Stockport.  They start with a belter, “How Long Will This Last?” Instantly, the O2 comes alive with fans singing along to the easy, melodic choruses that the Blossoms seem to hang their hat on. They do this very well indeed. They smash out 3 songs in a row before even addressing the crowd. 

Midway through, the setlist was given a stir with a couple of Oasis covers as the band payed homage to the cultural roots they see themselves as a product of. This is something the Blossoms seem keen to do. In the video for “Honey Sweet”, they cycle past the Stockport Lads Club, paying homage to the famous Smiths photo of the band sitting outside the Salford Lads Club. 

Sending out a public ‘nod’ to the greats will always create instant credibility and likeability. But their music is far removed from the likes Oasis and The Smiths. It’s smooth melodies and 80’s synth effects prove to be catchy and makes you want to dance like Carlton from Fresh Prince. 

Funnily enough the encore opens with a Smiths classic, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”. They crush it and perform a strong rendition of a timeless tune. The crowd loved it. The boys from Stockport finally wrap up with their headlining song, “Charlemagne”. The crowd has been waiting for this all night. They know it’s the last song and didn’t hold anything back. 

In short, the Blossoms are a great band to see live. Entertaining, easy listening and they didn’t miss a beat all night. I’m left with one question though, anyone up for (just) a cuddle after the gig?

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