On what was possibly the coldest, wettest, windiest night since I arrived in Liverpool in September, I set off with eager anticipation to Olympia with my two best friends full of excitement to see Blossoms for the second time knowing that it was going to be a gig to remember. I can only say that it surpassed all my expectations – what an amazing night!
We managed to arrive at the stunning venue in good time to find a prime position close to the stage and awaited the appearance of gravelly voiced 17 year old singer -songwriter Rory Wynne. I enjoyed his brief set which was delivered with a teenage moody swagger and it got the crowd more than ready for the madness that is Cabbage.
Cabbage took to the stage like a spark from a match takes to petrol and the crowd erupted. You wouldn’t imagine that Blossoms fans are the typical Cabbage audience but there seemed to be a quantity of fans that had come for Cabbage and the mosh pit was jumping around like 5 year olds on a bouncy castle. I haven’t seen Cabbage live before but I’m already becoming a fan of their anarchic, out-spoken, unapologetic music . The Manchester based five piece served up an idiosyncratic, satirical attack of songs in the form of discordant neo post-punk, and the crowd lapped it up. Front-man Lee Broadbent fully engaged with the crowd getting right among us and high-fiving anyone in his path. His darkly humourous song intro’s -“if anyone is under 16 in the audience don’t listen to this next song, it’s about necrophilia” – added to his anarchic appeal.
After an interlude which enthused the crowd to sing along to the now legendary Blossoms playlist that includes classics such as Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’, Blossoms took to the stage to Kanye’s ‘Black Skinhead’ and immediately sent the crowd into rapture as they started their set with the melodious, ‘At Most a Kiss’. The strong guitar riffs and catchy chorus make this a real crowd pleaser and it’s a good choice for a set opener. Tom Ogden chatted with the audience between each song and seems to have fully developed a relaxed almost intimate stage presence, despite the huge crowd that makes the audience feel like he wants to be there and is actually interested in them. They were enthusiastically singing along to every song and the vibe was that emotionally -charged feeling of solidarity with everyone around you that happens at the best gigs.
Some of the highlights of the night were lead guitarist Josh’s dad joining them on stage and performing some songs along with Tom and a brilliant mash up of ‘Imagine’ and ‘Half the World Away’ which the crowd adored.
The song of the night for me was the aptly named ‘My Favourite Room’, and I can honestly say at that moment in time the hall at Olympia was indeed my favourite room.
They finished their set with the now iconic and irrepressible ‘Charlemagne’ with its catchy hook, and left the stage to the sound of Tame Impala leaving us elated and emotional after what was one of the best gigs I’ve been to.
We then moved on to the packed after party at the Shipping Forecast where Blossoms performed a cracking DJ set until the early hours when I left exhausted and exhilarated after a brilliant night.
All images author’s own