Tonight, the VO5 NME Awards tour came through Lincoln and landed at the one of it’s biggest venues, The Engine Shed, providing a stage for this years headliners, Blossoms. The up and coming indie-pop five piece have been building and maintaining momentum ever since being named the BBC sound of 2016 and proved all the critics correct by dominating the entire year, selling out tours, reaching number 1 in the UK album charts and being streamed on Spotify well over 10 million times. 2016 was one hell of a year for them and 2017 is shaping up just as well. So, what are they like live?
Featuring support by Cabbage and Rory Wynne, the whole night was a showcase of great new indie music. The genre is probably healthier than it’s been in ten years, albeit a different sound and approach, but hey, that could just be considered progression right? As far as their produced recordings go, Blossoms don’t feature a great deal of grit or dirt in their sound, it’s cleaner than indie was a decade before, it’s more polished and with a resurgence of retro music, specifically 80’s, more and more new music is featuring synths and sounds reminiscent of the past. Blossoms have certainly taken this attribute on as their own, repackaged it and made it brand new and it’s getting them extremely far. But, live, they are loud, brash and overwhelmingly brilliant, featuring that gritty rock sound we thought was missing but keeping it clean and tight at the same time, creating the perfect setting for one hell of an evening. In such a short time, they’ve figured out how to write great music, produce it perfectly and then perform it live with maximum effect. Hats off to them, they’ve got it all figured out and so early in their career, leaving room for expansion and further perfection as time goes by and we head for the next album.
The set was a wonderful blend of their biggest hits, single releases, album tracks and B-sides, all of which received mass recognition from the sold out crowd. Kicking off proceedings with ‘At Most A Kiss’, smashing towards ‘Getaway’ ‘Blow’ and ‘Blown Rose’ and finishing off with ‘Charlemagne’ as part of the encore. Tracks like ‘Smashed Pianos’ and ‘Deep Grass’ absolutely owned the room and the sound and presentation was on point. There are no bad points to a Blossoms set and I’m proud and excited to admit that. The future looks bright for indie music whilst a band such as these have it in their grasps. Support act Cabbage also deserve recognition for being the most shamelessly unapologetic example of punk rock around at the minute. Brash, loud, arrogant and filthy appears to be their cocktail and this was a stark contrast when put next to the headliners, but I’ll say now that they’re ones to watch. If you get a chance to catch Blossoms on the rest of the NME tour, its a chance worth taking.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)