Natalie White

‘’Baked beans, Gregg’s and a proper cup of tea’’

Sitting in the dressing room of Manchester’s Albert Hall with Blossoms, the modest attitude of these five Stockport-born band members almost made me forget that I was l was in the company of one of the most successful bands to come out of the United Kingdom this year. Their eponymous album would later go on to make the best-selling debut album of 2016, beating the likes of Zayn Malik and Jack Garret.

To some, it may seem that Blossom’s success has appeared from nowhere, however when asked about their accomplishment, lead singer Tom Ogden was quick to add ‘’We saw the building up to it, it’s not like you record it and bang, it’s out, you graft and work things, it’s an amazing buzz.’We couldn’t anticipate what the album would go on to do, but luckily people connected with it, because it came from an honest place’’.

’We couldn’t anticipate what the album would go on to do, but luckily people connected with it, because it came from an honest place’’.

The bands pride at being Stockport born and raised doesn’t go unnoticed and drummer Joe Donovan has often been seen wearing an ‘’I love Stockport’’ t-shirt during gigs. When asked about performing in their home town, Ogden commented that ‘’Unlike most places, that give 100% in concerts, Manchester’s public always gives 120%. The little bit of extra love that you get when you’re from here bleeds into our performance and the crowd’s reaction. It’s more meaningful’’, whereas Donovan felt ‘’It’s not just because we’re from Stockport, Manchester is just one of those cities where you can feel how much people love music’’.

Manchester is famous for producing iconic bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses and Joy Division and the band agreed it was down to ‘’people like us, who come from normal working class backgrounds, who have other jobs and start a band with their mates just for something to do, in a way makes it more real to their listeners.’’ Bassist, Charlie Salt, added ‘’people jump on  the back of a lot of bands too and get inspired by bands like Oasis and The Smiths, the same goes for cities like Liverpool and Leeds.’’

On the added pressure that some bands might experience to reach the same level of success as these bands, Ogden believes ‘’people might feel under pressure, but people who feel that won’t get anywhere. The key is to just enjoy playing and being in a band together, not to keep chasing success. But there are people like that, they’re just fakers. They have singer song writer in their bio and they dress like Liam Gallagher. We do love Oasis… and Liam Gallagher, I’m just sick of people like that!’’

Blossoms’ hard work ethic and passion for performing has meant they have played in over 50 festivals in 2016, but the touring is not as glamorous as you would expect and Tom confesses that the thing he misses most about being home is ‘’baked beans, Greg’s and a proper cup of tea’’. Keyboard player, Myles Kellock, who until now hasn’t spoken, quietly mentions how much he misses his Playstation 4 which the band have banned from the tour bus because he spends too much time on it! Blossom’s non-stop touring allowed them to visit most of Europe and the United States, however Ogden expressed his love for Japan, stating ‘’I always go back to Tokyo, it’s a very special place’’. ‘’The first time we played there, people were wearing masks with our faces on and waiting outside our hotel. We were big in Japan quicker than we were here.’’ Charlie added ‘’After watching Supersonic (Documentary about fellow Manchester band, Oasis), we couldn’t help noticing a lot of similarities. They were from a very working class background and the way they were received in Japan, it feels like we’re following in their footsteps’’.

To end a successful 2016, Blossoms recently announced they will be playing Castlefield Bowl, alongside bands such as The Coral and James in July, 2017. Tom Ogden tells me ‘’It’s a massive moment for us as a band, it’s one of the biggest things in our career so far. We supported James there in 2014, to a couple of hundred people and even then, it was big for us, so to see how much we’ve grown in a few years is kind of mad. It makes me really proud of what we’ve done and it’s a step in the direction we want to go in, playing in arenas and that.’’ Donovan added ‘’It’s mad, me and Tom went there today and stood in the middle of it and it’s huge.’’

With Christmas around the corner, the band put a pause to their tour on the 18th of December, ‘’We’re looking forward to seeing family and going on a proper holiday. We start touring again in January in Japan, and as for 2017, I’ll keep writing and we’ll look at doing a second album. Nothing is set in stone right now for that, but we’re not going to wait around, we’re already been writing songs for it and demoing them.’’

Later that evening, I watched Blossoms perform live at Albert Hall and it was blatantly obvious that the band had the crowds unadulterated attention from the moment they stepped on stage. The anthemic, festival sound and mature stage presence that Blossoms bring to their gigs makes it clear that they possess the talent and charisma to bring a room full of strangers together. Whether it be chanting the lyrics to Charlemagne or experiencing Ogden’s solo version of ‘Onto her bed’, the concert became a mutual appreciation between the band and the audience, leaving everyone feeling like they were witnessing the start of something big.

The band will continue to tour in 2017 and hopefully we can expect a new album in the near future, but for now check out their highly successful debut album on YouTube in the links below or purchase it in most music outlets across the country.

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