Review – Blossoms in London at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Anthemic choruses and lust-fuelled melodies

Review by Ben Bowman

In typically groovy and charismatic style, Stockport scaffolding yard sensations turned chart topping band Blossoms blew the roof off a sold out Shepherds Bush Empire last night on the penultimate night of their current UK tour. Supported by hotly tipped Mansfield singer-songwriter Georgie and South London outfit Inheaven, this was the last chance for many to see the band before they head back out on the road in the Spring. One thing to say about them is their sense of humbleness and shock at their ascent over the past year and this is reflected in their live shows. Now accustomed to iconic venues such as Shepherds Bush Empire and the Manchester Albert Hall, aspirations are beginning to formulate into reality for Blossoms, and they deserve it.

Only one album in, the scope for the band’s setlist isn’t that wide but the recent release of a deluxe album, compiling all past B sides together from previous EP’s gave Blossoms the freedom of versatility in order to shake things up. As per tradition, they opened with At Most a Kiss, much like a smack in the face it really invigorated the expectant crowd with its gripping hook and its brooding aggression. There was no respite as this flowed straight into crowd favourite Blow which was sung back with force. Singles Cut me and I’ll Bleed and Getaway followed before frontman Tom Ogden picked up the acoustic and powered through Blown Rose. I think this track sums up everything the band are trying to achieve in their songwriting; big powerful choruses and a real focus on melody to create their own sound. Of course there are clear influences, whether that be in the pop or indie genre, but Blossoms have created their own sound by merging the two together with a balance that is perfectly measured.

The run of singles was stopped in its tracks by Smashed Pianos and then the track Fourteen which was brought to many people’s attention through the release of the Deluxe album, but it was originally released as part of the At Most a Kiss EP. Honey Sweet was inevitably well received as the opening synth drop was met by deafening screams as the indulgent, dreamy track has become somewhat of a delight amongst fans. Something that has become an essential part of any Blossoms gig is the song My Favourite Room, arguably their most stripped back track from the record. My Favourite Room clearly holds a resonating feeling with people, a song suggestively written about a tough break up, but written in such complementary fashion. Ogden, with the crowd like putty in his hands throughout the show, had the crowd singing back every word of not only his songs, but borrowed snippets of Oasis’ Half the World Away and Babybird’s You’re Gorgeous too as part of his accustomed routine, but seeing as it is Christmas, Tom, alone on stage, slipped in a cover of Last Christmas by Wham! too.

With the whole band reuniting back on stage, the 15 track set was wrapped up with a flurry of tracks including Texia and Polka Dot Bones before they sent fans home with the unrelenting and unshakeable Charlemagne. In my last gig review I did for Blossoms, I asked how far can they really go? I think last night’s show will be one of those moments in which the band will look back and attach a lot of fondness too and we will see it as a point of significance along the way of their musical career. This is a band that can surely only get better, but with a busy start to next year in terms of touring, a second record doesn’t seem on the agenda quite yet. The follow up album can be somewhat of a poisoned chalice for any artist, but given the band’s admirable appetite for success, they will be keen to produce something that will live up to the euphoria that their debut created.

You can find Blossoms on tour in the UK in Spring 2017, and you can buy tickets for those dates here:

Review written by Ben Bowman, you can follow him on twitter here.

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