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By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 16th February 2017 at 4:00 pm
It’s good to be Stockport, Greater Manchester group Blossoms. The band have been nominated for the British Breakthrough Act at this year’s BRITs, and there’s still time to get your vote in for them (or whichever of the nominees you prefer) through here (UK residents only) before next week’s awards show. As a part of a special week at the Radio 1’s Live Lounge, as the radio station is celebrating the BRITs, they invited Blossoms in yesterday as award nominees in to play a song of their own, plus as is standard for all their Live Lounge performances, a cover.
Choosing to do a cover of 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ mashed up with Wham!’s ‘Careless Whisper’ has been controversial for their fans (if you question this, just read the comments section here from their Facebook), but what is not at all controversial is their performance of ‘Honey Sweet’, featured on their self-titled album released last summer. Watch both performances below; you can listen to the Radio 1 programme for the next 28 days via Radio 1’s Web site. ‘Blossoms’ is out now on Virgin EMI, and my review of the LP is through here. I’ve written a fair bit on the North West band here on TGTF, and you can catch up on all our past coverage on them if you head this way.
By Mary Chang
on Sunday, 5th February 2017 at 10:00 am
Stockport, Greater Manchester’s Blossoms already have a busy first half of 2017 all lined up. A few days ago, they announced their first North American tour. It includes cities on the West Coast before appearances at American music festivals Coachella in April plus Governor’s Ball in New York and Firefly in Delaware in June. To celebrate their exciting news stateside, the band have unveiled a brand new self-directed video for ‘Honey Sweet’. It’s a cut from their self-titled debut album that was released last summer on Virgin EMI. (Want to read my review of the LP? You can do so through here.)
To give this promo a throwback feel, the guys take a step back 30 years ago to 1987, the land of rotary phones and denim jackets and when people still actually used a foldout A-Z map to plan their trips instead of Google Maps. What’s even better about this video is that if you’ve never actually visited Stockport, the band cycle through their hometown, past the Stockport County AFC, the town’s market hall and Robinsons’ brewery, aka the home of Elbow‘s beer build a rocket boys! That is, before they make it out to the wilderness and meet up with an icon of the times. You’ll be surprised if you watch it through to the end. Watch it below. To catch up on all of our past coverage on the band, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 31st October 2016 at 5:00 pm
I don’t usually get presents dropped in my lap like this on a weekend (keep it clean, folks), so I’m going to roll with it. in conjunction with VEVO, Stockport, Greater Manchester psych pop band Blossoms played a Halloween-themed gig Saturday at Liverpool’s Bramley-Moore Dock, aka the home for Liverpool Sound City the last 2 years. And for those of us who weren’t lucky enough to be there for the show, they’ve now shared the entire set. Naturally, being the agreeable lads they are, they dressed up for the occasion. And boy, did they! Even the audience got into the theme of the show. Enjoy the entire spectacle below.
At Most a Kiss
Across the Moor
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 17th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
Stockport band Blossoms are currently in America, playing at the Bardot in Hollywood tonight after a sold out show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn and another at San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop. While they’ve been in America, the new promo video for ‘Blown Rose’ has been revealed to the world. It follows a different, shall we say more whimsical video for the song when it was released as a single last year.
In this new video version of ‘Blown Rose’, there’s loads of imagery – lit candles, Catholicism (?) – and I guess naturally for a group of lads, a vampy model-type woman. Is she a femme fatale or a woman scorned? Find out by watching the promo below. Blossoms’ self-titled debut album is out now on Virgin EMI, and you can read my review of it through here. While I was away in Ireland, the band announced a four-pack of shows on the Emerald Isle, stopping in Belfast, Galway, Limerick and Dublin in March 2017, which are on sale now. They’ll be supported by Derry’s Touts, who you can read about in my review of Friday night at Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 tomorrow afternoon. To read more of TGTF’s coverage on the band from Stockport, go here.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, Stockport psych pop quintet Blossoms have announced a second set of UK tour dates in support of their recently released, self-titled debut LP ‘Blossoms’. This new list of live dates follows Blossoms’ already announced autumn dates, which are scheduled for late September and early October. Our own editor Mary recently reviewed the chart-topping album right back here.
The new tour dates will include back-to-back nights at Manchester’s Albert Hall on the 2nd and 3rd of December. Tickets for the following shows are available now. TGTF’s full coverage of Blossoms can be found through here.
Wednesday 30th November 2016 – Leicester Academy
Thursday 1st December 2016 – Hull University Union
Friday 2nd December 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Saturday 3rd December 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Monday 5th December 2016 – Edinburgh Potterow
Tuesday 6th December 2016 – Aberdeen Garage
Wednesday 7th December 2016 – Middlesbrough Empire
Sunday 11th December 2016 – Oxford Academy
Tuesday 13th December 2016 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Wednesday 14th December 2016 – Bournemouth Old Fire Station
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 3rd August 2016 at 12:00 pm
Hailing from the Greater Manchester town of Stockport, Blossoms appear poised to be the next North West musical success story. At Austin in March of last year, they opened the BBC Introducing night at SXSW 2015, garnering much attention for the curious Americans eager to hear the next big thing from across the pond. They followed that up with a rousing appearance at Dr. Martens’ stage at the Green Door Store at the Great Escape 2015. A few short months later, it was revealed the five-piece had inked a deal with Virgin EMI. Which brings us to their debut album that will be released to the wild this very Friday. Does ‘Blossoms’ deliver on the promise of their earlier singles and EPs? The first time I listened to the album from beginning to end, I was both overjoyed and pleasantly surprised.
It’s entirely reasonable to expect following a band’s signing to a major label (in this case, Virgin EMI) that the rough edges of their music would be sanded down considerably from how you remember they sounded. And yes, ‘Blossoms’ sounds very good, just as you would imagine for an album recorded at Liverpool’s famed Parr Street Studios and produced by Parr Street’s resident engineer Rich Turvey and the Coral’s James Skelly. However, on a pop album much more so than a rock one, the polishing up of Blossoms’ sound is overwhelmingly a positive rather than a negative. ‘Blown Rose’ went down a treat at SXSW last year, and it’s now been retooled into something brighter and breezier.
The catchiness of their songcraft is maintained throughout the record, which can only be a good thing. The album is front-loaded with a four-pack of songs guaranteed to wow. The sequence starts off like a shot with past single ‘Charlemagne’. It’s named after a Holy Roman Emperor, but Ogden seems to be detailing the pain of lost love, accompanied by squeals of lead guitarist Josh Dewhurst’s axe. It’s swiftly followed by another previously released track, ‘At Most a Kiss’. It’s another synth-laden, driving rhythm framing a tale of unrequited love that feels at times seems so close but in reality is so far away.
‘Getaway’ was unveiled in May at the same time as news of the forthcoming debut album broke. What relationships have morphed into over the years has certainly changed with the times, and this is the millennial take on what ‘80s kids had with Phil Collins’ ‘One More Night’ and us ‘90s kids did the same with Eagle Eye Cherry’s ‘Save Tonight’. Ogden sings in the chorus, “I’m over you, get under me”, as if this night together doesn’t matter. But we know better. ‘Honey Sweet’, revealed in a stripped-back version for VEVO UK last week, sounds straight out of the ‘80s thanks to Myles Kellock’s sparkling synths. Ogden’s yearnings ring optimistic despite things not being entirely perfect: “there’s no doubt / you still love me / you’d still love this incomplete”.
The introduction of a few ballads from a Northern group – a group who had made their name early on with psychedelia-tinged melodic sing-alongs like ‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’ and ‘Blow’, I wish to point out – shouldn’t work. And yet they do. A song title like ‘Onto Her Bed’ sounds pretty salacious, but it’s a simple torch song, Ogden’s voice joined by a jazzy piano. It seems out of place with the characters I met at SXSW but hey, I’m sure the same thing was said at the time about the Beatles’ ‘And I Love Her’.
On the sheer novelty side of the spectrum, ‘Smashed Pianos’ and ‘Deep Grass’ stand out as valiant Northern attempts at r&b. Charlie Salt’s funky bass line anchors the former, Blossoms’ version of Katy Perry’s ‘Hot and Cold’. The organ chords and syncopation of the beats of album closer ‘Deep Grass’ match well with Ogden’s oozy, woozy vocals. Fuzzed out guitar concludes the album, as if to say that the band’s psychedelic roots still exist.
While this debut places Blossoms firmly in the indie pop camp, this is just one snapshot in time. Turning your attention away from the pop vocals and synths for a moment, the promising guitar and bass work here suggest there’s plenty of room for these Northerners to grow on their next album.
The eponymous debut album from Stockport psych pop group Blossoms will be released this Friday, the 5th of August, on Virgin EMI. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Blossoms, follow this link.