Photography: Aaron McManus / ampix.co.uk

Blossoms

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  • Cabbage
  • Rory Wynne
VO5 NME Awards Tour @ Liverpool Olympia 17/3/17

The Liverpool Olympia – renovated a number of times over the last century – it still carries a faded glamour, making the venue an intriguing choice for the VO5 NME Awards Tour, showcasing a line-up of bands from the fresher end of the spectrum.

RORY WYNNE opens tonight. Or rather his band does, by taking their places and starting with Post-Party Confusion, allowing the 17 year old, (who’s sporting an “I Always Wynne” t-shirt), to make his grand entrance. Performing songs from his new EP What Would Rory Wynne Do?, he struts and swaggers around the stage, Introducing the song After Me, with a dead pan wit (“It’s about how good I am”) the girls down the front love every single bloody minute of it. However, mutters of “cocky little git” emerge from the older mouths.

Listen up, Rory Wynne. Be cocky. Do not pipe down. Do not stay in your box. Do not, under any fucking circumstances whatsoever, know your place. Keep giving the nod to northern guitar bands and classic pop too, keep writing your clever, witty songs, and reach for the Star In The Sky.

Tellingly, Wynne lets his band have their moment in the closing of Why Don’t You, laying his guitar flat with careful hands before he exits the stage, flicking his plectrum coolly into the crowd without looking back.

CABBAGE are next, the set up different from just a few weeks ago in EBGBS. Thanks to singer Lee Broadbent’s altercation with a tall wall, we now all know what a pubic rami is, and that a broken one causes all manner of bother. Cabbage play a good humoured set. “Anyone under 16 cover your ears. This one’s about necrophilia!”, Broadbent announces with the cheeriness of a naughty schoolboy, before launching into Necroflat In The Palace. Cabbage are still a bit punk by numbers for me, but I’m warming to them and I can’t help but think that breaking his public rami is the best career move Broadbent could have made.

It was BLOSSOMS that led to the venue selling out yonks ago; they’ve played a blinder this last year, expanding their audience from those pesky young women, to one encompassing a much broader demographic. A more assured and confident Blossoms in 2017 play for everyone, boasting a songbook more substantial than most with one mere album under their belts. Tracks from their early EPs are given an airing, along with an affectionate Lennon and Oasis medley; this sweet acknowledgement of influences has fellas punching the air in approval, big time.

It was 18 months ago at Liverpool’s O2 Academy I first heard singer Tom Ogden use the “anyone here been dumped?” line in the run up to performing My Favourite Room, but it’s a more relaxed delivery now – audience member Ellie shares up her tale of heartbreak and everyone in the venue offers a sympathetic ear. Ellie’s misfortune is wittily interwoven into the song, and as for that “fucking Tim”, whoever and wherever he is, we all think he’s a goddamn fool.

The camera phones come out en masse for Honey Sweet and Blown Rose, and afterwards on the bus home, it is Charlemagne bellowed lustily by passengers as the standing-room-only number 12 trundles along West Derby Road and heads into town. Tonight, the tuneful melodic unashamed pop of Blossoms, triumphs.

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