Besides an amazing encore my favourite thing to experience at a gig is a support band that grabs the night by the scruff of the neck, and Blossoms certainly did this. They’re all young lads, but came across like they’d been touring for years. Frontman Tom Ogden had a firm air of confidence that I like to see in a singer. They are definitely making the right fans with the Coral’s James Skelly taking on a producing role and putting out their forthcoming single 'Hurt' on his Skeleton Key records.

Blossoms have a vintage 60’s sound, and at times in the set I was reminded of the Doors. Songs flow to unexpected places, and I’m making it a mission to see them in the following months. ‘You Pulled A Gun On Me’ as well as ‘Blow’ are on YouTube and are worth repeated listens.

I definitely prefer the rawness of 'St. Jude' compared to the slick sounding 'Falcon', and considering the Courteeners' new album, 'Concrete Love', came out during the festival period it’s surprising I hadn’t heard a word about it before this gig. Liam Fray asks has anyone bought the album and the O2 Academy give a resounding YES! - This was clearly enthusiasm to be asked a question because most of the new album tracks were a cue for loo breaks.

I saw a Liam Fray solo show last year, and it was just as populated if not more so than this show with the whole band. You could also be forgiven going off the chants in between songs that the band are called LIAM. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s amazing what status Fray has achieved since the band were formed in 2006.

The Courteeners for me sway from cool Smiths offspring to Kasabian lad rock, and sometimes they’re guilty of too much of the latter. There is still gold to be found amongst their last three albums, 'Are You in Love with a Notion?' being a favourite and 'Yesterday, Today and Probably Tomorrow' a strong contender for best song Fray has ever written. Up there with the most subtle anyway.

The Courteeners were enjoyable this time round, a solid set and Fray’s following went home happy, which is the important thing. I look forward to listening to the 'Concrete Love' but, going from this set and the single, new ground will have to wait until their next LP.

The future, however, is a band called Blossoms from Stockport, Greater Manchester.


The photographs that accompany this article were taken for Pennyblackmusic by Marie Hazelwood.

















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