Blossoms at Shepherd’s Bush EmpireCultureMusicLive music
Hailing from Stockport, Blossoms are essentially a 1980s pop band dragged kicking and screaming onto the 2016 music scene. And it seems they do this noughties-eighties hybrid well enough, having earlier this year made it into the top five of the coveted BBC’s Sound of 2016 poll. Clearly on the up and coming, in August their debut eponymous studio release soared in at number one in its first week and was ranked at number 25 of NME’s Albums of the Year 2016.
Headlining at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, the indie rockers opened with a decidedly not-so-indie instrumental of Kanye West’s Black Skinhead and then led into At Most a Kiss, a song that encapsulates the bass and synth-heavy, unashamedly retro style of Blossoms self-titled album. About a year ago, lead singer Tom Ogden told NME: “We just want to be as big as we can.” It seems the band has worked out the right formula for the universe to action this. Their whole shtick centres on genuinely catchy and colourful choruses, which had the London crowd roaring along to Blow, and their music exudes a good old fashioned danceability. Even during a lull and apparent disengagement from some of the concertgoers during Fourteen, Blossoms brought Shepherd’s Bush Empire back into the fold with the upbeat Honey Sweet.
Ogden, is a likeable frontman. For a brief moment before launching into My Favourite Room, an acoustic breakup anthem, he acted as an Agony Uncle for an audience member’s relationship woes. There’s a good humour about the band as a whole – and for an indie five-piece that wants to reach some lofty heights, there isn’t much of a hint in them of the endemic pretentiousness that seems to grip many groups from their genre. And they managed to avoid the overt cringe factor that might come with an ensemble that lists ABBA, Oasis and the soundtrack to video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as influences.
A solid performance, Blossoms ended the night with their hit single Charlemagne, which garnered a rapturous reaction. In a market dominated by so many hip hop and pop artists dropping consistently strong chart-topping records, there is a lot of pressure on Blossoms to bring guitar music back to the table. If their performance last night is any indication, they have some way to go, but they have a bright future ahead of them.
Photo: Nick Kelvin
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Watch the video for At Most a Kiss here: