Reinforcing their presence in The North, Manchester took over the Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Friday night with Blossoms taking the headline slot in the West Yorkshire town, supported by Man Made.
Blossoms have seemingly blown up from nowhere, gaining a large following in Manchester and scaling the city’s venue circuit very quickly since they formed their “Stockport supergroup” in 2013, now working their way up to their headline Gorilla gig in March. Taking a step out of town, The Trades Club is the perfect venue for a band like this; kitted out and current with a working class core.
Man Made open the night for the Stockport five-piece. Since their weekly residency at Night & Day and their early gigs as a full band at The Castle last year, the group showed evidence of gelling more as professionals. With a history of influences ranging from guitar dominant groups such as Modest Mouse and Fugazi, the three-piece have finely tuned their craft into heavy, rhythm-section-laden pop music. Taking the tracks conceived by frontman Nile Marr when Man Made was simply his solo project, Callum Rogers and Scott Strange have provided the vital element; encompassing the bands punk rock influences with an energetic, venomous, and most notably tight performance to complement Marr’s natural presence as a frontman and guitarist.
Taking a step further towards Britpop influenced psych-rock, Blossoms are a band who have been described by Louder Than War as “the best young band in Manchester”. Having made their mark on their hometown (we’ll expand that to Manchester rather than Stockport), the group are slowly garnering a reputation nationally and internationally, with the group due to play SXSW this year.
On Friday in Hebden Bridge, the group stepped away from their usual full garb of matching black polo necks, and have a sense of unexpected individuality on stage. Initially frontman Tom Ogden’s presence is quite evident. With a real strength vocally and an effortless Mancunian swagger, supported by pitch perfect psychedelic harmonies, Ogden is a captivating leader of the stage, paving the way for the group to focus on the music itself.
Myles Kellock provides the ‘70s licks on keys, intriguingly bringing back the dominance of the instrument. With a contrast of gorgeous pop melody and trippy guitar rock, the group seemingly tumble smoothly through the better known tracks such as ‘Blow’ and ‘Cut Me And I’ll Bleed’ whilst showing off initiative and experimentation in pace with ‘Scattered Rain’.
In a Manchester music scene that seems to have embraced the psych-rock revival of late, Blossoms are standing out and showing signs of being one of the city’s next big bands. Already standing up in strength as a headline act, in Hebden Bridge their performance was particularly special, proving it’s not just Manchester being blown away by the Stockport five-piece. If an album can reflect Blossoms’ engaging live performance as accurately as possible, there’s some serious potential here for the group to be one of Britain’s biggest new bands.