Review: Blossoms Take Over Rough Trade East

Written by Thomas Muckian

Following the release of their third studio album, Stockport’s very own Blossoms returned to Rough Trade East debuting a whole host of tunes from the LP. Stepping into the store, the atmosphere inside seemed fairly subdued; a clear excitement but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m not sure if this is down to low ticket sales or just the nature of the crowd on the day but it certainly did feel off.

It wasn’t long after we stepped into the venue, grabbed a pint, and headed to get a good spot (that wasn’t blocked by one of the 4 giant pillars) that Blossoms took to stage. Lead-singer Tom explained to the crowd at the start that the setlist would be a little different today (this was expected with it being an in-store gig), stating they would be running through the new album. This came as a delight to me, being one of the lazy buggers who hadn’t actually gotten round to listening to it that morning.

Kicking off with one of the previously released singles “If You Think This Is Real Life” the room definitely came to life. I really like this song and it stands out in its own right on the album, a clear festival summer anthem; something that I think the album is really lacking past that. The highlights of the gig and may I add the album; “Your Girlfriend” and “The Keeper” are two absolutely fantastic songs. The only downside was that after three great songs at the front of the set the energy was gone; kind of how I feel about the album. After being such a huge fan of their self-titled debut and second extended-release “Cool Like You” I was expecting big things from this project. Perhaps it’s my unrealistic expectations of times past or could it be something more?

This isn’t the plucky little indie band from Stockport that we first fell in love with anymore. They’ve grown up, been across the world, played to thousands and entered the mainstream. Constant radio play on pop stations, appearances of breakfast television and branching out beyond the indie kid stratosphere. After long consideration of why the new album didn’t sit right with me, I figured it out, they are just not for me anymore, in fact, I think my own mother who I first showed blossoms to 2 years ago now listens to them more consistently then I do.

The new album isn’t bad, in fact, it’s great. “Foolish Loving Spaces” is probably their seminal piece of work. They have entered a new era and I expect bigger and better things to come.
I left Rough Trade that night feeling let down almost, but after time to reflect I see it in a different light, I look forward to seeing them at the Forum in the next few months just now knowing what to expect from the band I thought I knew.