The Blinders @ O2 Academy Institute, Birmingham – 26\04\19

Photo by Josie Richards

The Blinders take it to the next level in Birmingham

The Blinders hit Birmingham for their first show of the tour, with Columbia under their belt and an ever-growing fan base, how were they going to shape up with a bit of pressure? It’s a crucial time for the band as they look to release new music. With the debut being so good they’ve set a rather high standard for themselves. After speaking to them earlier in the week, it was clear they had new material they were eager to play. It was interesting to see how this would go down and if they’d freshen up the setlist from the album tour.

A packed out venue made journeys to the bar and toilet a lengthy task, yet it was welcomed. With a line up like this, it’s what they deserved. Each band has pedigree and a setlist to be excited about.

Photo by Josie Richards

The Clause.

Opening the show was the sharpest band in Birmingham, as The Clause entered the stage with a purpose. With a packed crowd of Birmingham music lovers, it was no surprise they got a very warm reaction throughout. ‘Tokyo’ opened the set, as it often does. This was perfect song for all those who did or didn’t know the band.

Pearce is a fine frontman, looking into the crowd with confidence, swinging his hips and delivering crisp vocals. The fine guitar work which features on ‘Sixteen’ and ‘Golden Age’ is a site to see. Liam Deakin works his way around the guitar deliver long some memorable lead on both tracks.

Was gutted that ‘Where Are You Now?’ wasn’t played, but it made sense. It was not the gig for a slower track. Instead they pursued with ‘Don’t Hate the Player’ which got an exceptional reaction. This saw Pearce once again own the microphone and stare down the crowd with no bother.

Photo by Josie Richards

The Ninth Wave.

After previously getting to see The Ninth Wave support Whenyoung earlier on in the year, it was an exciting prospect to hear the set with some familiarity. The Glaswegians once again made a statement, even with a bigger stage to fill.

Vocalists Haydn Park-Patterson and Amelia Kidd host their own mini vocal battle on stage to decide who’s greater, giving each song some real force. Their voices complement each other extremely well, and can easily carry a song alone. Some bands done have one good singer, these have two stand-out vocal performers.

With part 1 of their album coming out soon, they look determined to put on a show with; ‘Silence is Sweeter’ and ‘New Kind of Ego’. These are two of the best tracks on the set. Amidst some feedback issue from the sound system, the band stood strong and worked through refusing to crumble.

Some people in the crowd were already big fans of the band, myself included, but they definitely won some people over. Their final performance ‘Swallow Me’ is easily their coup de grace as lead singer Haydn loses himself throughout the entire song. Turning it into a performance rather than just playing the song. If you haven’t seen Ninth Wave yet, get a ticket.

Photo by Josie Richards

The Blinders.

After two stellar support acts, the crowd were ready for The Blinders, and the long intro to their entrance on stage played into that. As they walked on to a warm reception, the prisoners were let loose as ‘Gotta Get Through’ broke out, proving to be one of the bands best tracks to date. With Tom donning the paint running from his eyes, the band looked up for it and prepared to rip the audience apart.

The increased venue plays right into The Blinders hands as tracks ‘Hate Song’, ‘Brave New World’ and latest single ‘Rat in a Cage’ all got a hero’s reaction.

The Blinders suited the larger stage in Birmingham. Allowing for bassist Charlie to stalk the stage and rally the troops every chance he got. This was well animated when the riff for ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ chimed through the room, which is easily a crowd favourite.

Three new tracks were on display with ‘Wither’, ‘40 Days and 40 Nights’ and a track I never caught the name got exposure. The tracks solidified my suspicions of their new material, with them inhabiting that same chaotic mentality. It won’t be sticking my neck out saying the second album is in safe hands. As the band continues to grow.

Photo by Josie Richards

The Performance.

Lead singer Tom was charming in the performance. Whether it was accidentally spitting on his shirt mid-song or placing a cup on a photographers head. His charm transcended through the dark demeanour of Jonny Dream.

The mosh was hellish, as The Blinders stirred the crowd up their demonic riffs. The move from ‘Et Tu’ into ‘Brutus’ always provides the best soundtrack for this, as the raw guttural riffs of the tribal-like track infuses a madness into each member of the crowd.

Overall the performance compared to their last show in Birmingham was fuller, and well rounded. With the addition of a keyboard player for ‘Salmon of Alaska’ and playing ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’, it gave the setlist much more balance which people can look forward to in the shows ahead.

This felt like a real step up for The Blinders, as they continue to climb the musical ladder. The new album has set the band up perfectly for this next step, giving them a solid base of a setlist. Their performance looks to have matured as they need to get comfy on bigger stages, as it will be there new home for years to come. After this tour it will be good to see the band get back in studio and work on that glorious second album.

Photos by Josie Richards

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