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Blossoms Exclusive Album Launch Gig Review: Leeds Beckett Student Union

By Jessica Fynn

Image credit: Lewis Evans

Celebrating the release of their third record Foolish Loving Spaces, Crash Records welcomed Blossoms back to Leeds for two exclusive gigs. In true Blossoms style, Foolish Loving Spaces can be instantly recognised for its authentic sound. The kooky title holds a delicately balanced mix of spacey riffs, energetic synth and 70s-style pop tunes, accompanied by an acoustic B-side. It looks like the Stockport boys headed straight out of the studio and straight on to the stage, as their new record had hardly been out a week before they embarked on a string of intimate city shows – surely a warm-up for the summer months ahead.

Enter into the Leeds Beckett Student Union, and you’re welcomed by the familiar scent of beer and sweat. Amid the gloom of the mid-winter season, there was something strangely endearing about the sticky heat of bodies in close proximity. Under the dim glow of the overhead lights, the crowd seemed to vibrate with casual movement, chatter and drunken laughter. A gentle hum could be heard over the background music; a pre-warm up, vocal stretch. The ticket collectors had warned a prompt 9pm start, and true to word, the Leeds crowd greeted Blossoms with the kind of electric energy found only at the summer music festivals.

Centre-stage was Tom Ogden, poised dramatically over the microphone in his velvety disco glamour: daring flared trousers and silk shirt. Anyone who has seen Ogden move, knows his eccentric personal style; his microphone-swinging, hip-shaking around the stage – magnetic. True chemistry exists between the group of five, and if Ogden’s lyrics weren’t so explicitly lovesick and hopeful, they could have easily been mistaken for expressions of undying love to his fellow bandmates.

Despite its release only a week prior, when Blossoms opened their set with Your Girlfriend and continued to play a mix of tracks off their new album (My Swimming brain, The Keeper) lyrics were yelled back to their on-stage writer, with consistent energy and conviction. The crowd responded to old-school classics Blown Rose and Honey Sweet in familiar indie-gig style, mindlessly thrashing their bodies around in what today’s youth call “moshing” – guilty as charged.

Image credit: Lewis Evans

Nearing the end of their set, electro-rock guitar was exchanged for a well-worn acoustic, as Blossoms played the intimate solo track, My Favourite Room, a lyrical and heartfelt ballad that you can expect to feature in all their live sets. The overexcited Leeds crowd weren’t able to aggressively mosh to this one, but were pacified by Ogden’s initiation of an audience/singer duet of an old Oasis classic, Half the World Away. Lighters swaying and hands dramatically raised to the sky, Blossoms had successfully captured the hearts of their fans. They closed their set with Charlemagne, a well-loved tune that promises to get even the most stubborn of crowds going.

Image credit: Lewis Evans

Blossoms stay current because they have done, and continue to do, what most “indie” bands generally won’t do: they remain consistent with their sound and image – one that just so happened to have placed their week-old record at number one in the UK Album Charts. Not too bad for some boys from Stockport.

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