Stockport, a small industrial town 7 miles south-east of Manchester’s hustling city centre, has recently been landmarked as “the home of Blossoms” Last night, 203.6 miles from Stockport in the iconic O2 Forum in Kentish Town, Blossoms proved just why they deserve to be remembered not just within their hometown, but a lot further afield.
Commencing the night was Manchester’s newest discovery – crazy and chaotic 5-piece band Cabbage. Filling their 30-minute-long set with political chants and poems written from their school days in private education, their songs are drenched in oppression and aggression to current systems both here and also in the US. Very aware of the injustice that occurs in both countries but very unaware of their own stage movements, the two joint frontmen (it was hard to determine who was the lead as they both battled for the audience’s attention) threw themselves around the stage, putting security on high alert, carrying their mic wire behind them like a leash.
This utter kookiness was followed by the sedate but tremendously talented teenager Declan McKenna. After winning Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition in 2015 and gaining success from debut single Brazil released earlier this year, Declan’s indie/alternative rock sound has drawn in crowds of all ages. Aged just 17, it is quite astounding how he can have the crowd in the palm of his hand, hanging on to his every lyric.
Entering the stage to the instrumental of Kanye West’s Black Skinhead and an array of flashing white strobe lights, you would think that Kanye himself was about to bounce himself and his ego on stage and kickstart the proceeding. However, out came young, naive and simply dressed Blossoms, who moved swiftly into their first single At Most A Kiss, a favourite with old and new fans alike.
Over the years due to the obsession drilled into many to get to stadiums as quickly as humanely possible, many bands have neglected the idea of interacting with their audience between songs. Blossoms made this idea cool again last night. Before frontman Tom Ogden begun strumming the chords to his heartfelt self-penned track My Favourite Room, he asked the crowd if anyone had been dumped recently, to which a man a few rows back yelled yes rather enthusiastically. Tom then made the 2,300 strong crowd boo for the volunteer’s ex-girlfriend and then proceeded to dedicate the song to the stranger’s failed relationship.
Concluding the night with indie-pop excellence, Charlemagne delivered a much-needed atmospheric punch as it rung through the crowd, exclaimed with flailing arms from all audience members, providing the perfect closure to send the crowd home on a high.