- The Vyrll Society
- Hidden Charms
If there’s one thing Stockport five-piece BLOSSOMS are not, it’s deceptive. With a dress sense described by the Manchester Evening News as “turtlenecks and jewellery à la Derek Trotter”, there’s no hidden heavy rock sensibilities or the like; tonight we’re getting a healthy dose of indie psych. Thankfully, Blossoms are not an act which require any sort of deception; their take on a well-worn style has involved them taking it apart and rearranging it as they see best – a sentiment with which I’m sure every single one of the mop-topped lads assembled would be quick to agree.
Equally adoptive of a style of yesteryear is HIDDEN CHARMS. Sucking the sixties for all it’s worth, the instrument-swapping, old-school rock’n’rollers from London inject the Kaz with some early unexpected vigour. The pace is sedated a little by THE VRYLL SOCIETY, though only due to the fact their entire sound is doused in a numbing aesthetic haze. Lead-man Michael Ellis sways and croons like the Ian Brown of old, and there is certainly more than a customary Stones tint to their music, though it betrays no sense of overt idolisation. Their approach to a style since gone is admirable, and reflects tonight’s headliners perfectly.
It doesn’t take long once the set has started for Tom Ogden (Vocals/Guitar) to have qualified, visually at least, why Blossoms have been compared to the likes of Arctic Monkeys as well as The Doors. Partially hiding behind a split mask of long, brown locks, he struts from one side of the stage to the other. You Pulled A Gun On Me sees the band at their most Turner-cum-Morrison esque, as Ogden opens with the most tantalising of questions: “won’t you make love to me?”
Like every band tipped by the likes of NME, Blossoms have a couple of those songs in their locker. The sort that sound like everything you’ve ever listened to before, but simultaneously stand in their own hazy, distinctive spotlight. As such, Cut Me And I’ll Bleed and a particularly rousing rendition of Blow elicit the most convincingly mumbled participation from the crowd. However, the most touching moment comes courtesy of the acoustic-led My Favourite Room. Sweet and simple but lacking none of the confidence expressed elsewhere, it sees Ogden and co. strip back their sound with ease, a move which requires substance, and consequently wins the favour of even the more leaden-hearted of those assembled.
“The cold road is all I know,” Ogden laments on Blow, before further bemoaning “I don’t know if it’s love that you want”. Issues of doubt are pervasive in the lyrics to the band’s last track, a sentiment certainly not reflected in the minds of the crowd. The dubbing of the band as Stockport’s finest export is yet to be qualified, but, as the mod-cuts and intricate lighting can collectively confirm, they perhaps aren’t a million miles away.