The Blinders


If you’ve had any interest in guitar music over the past eighteen months, you’ll have heard their name, they’ve made it sure as hell that everybody who needs to know, knows. The Blinders have been of interest to many, especially this past year, after the release of their debut album, Columbia, to great praise from many in the industry and being heavily praised by BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq among other import figures in the music press.

I mean what’s not to like about these three lads from the glamorous Yorkshire town of Doncaster? They’ve toured hard, they’ve worked hard on a debut album and most importantly they always play hard. Now based in Manchester where they have become more or less the the band of the moment, it’s clear their future is bright, and it’s even clearer when the lights go down and they hit the stage tonight, of what a loyal fanbase they have gathered.

Thomas Haywood (lead vocals/guitar) walks on stage like he’s just won a Grand Prix, with a bottle of bubbly raised above his head, it’s as if he’s achieved it all already. I mean what more can a young lad want? He’s got a crowd of fans ready to unleash on, in a venue historic to Manchester and nothing but pure stage presence to put the cherry on top. Then the drums pound into ‘Gotta Get Through’ and the crowd goes off, with the slightly early set time of 8:30 for a Saturday night, a few late arriving teenagers rushing to get through to the action that is quite frankly looking too energetic for myself.

Throughout this set it’s non-stop energy, it’s how I imagine the early gigs for the Arctic Monkeys were after the release of Whatever You Think I Am, That’s What I’m Not, fans screaming every word and a band that aren’t shy to put on a show. Bassist Charlie McGough, with his wide awake shiny shirt, reminds me of Nicky Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers, wild and bouncing, with just his bass to care for.

Obviously just one album into their career they are about to face the tricky second album omen, yet it doesn’t stop them trying out a couple of new tunes tonight: ‘Forty Days and Forty Nights’ and ‘Lunatic with a Loaded Gun’ are greeted with as much energy from the crowd as the rest of the set. My personal high light is ‘Rat in a Cage’, the track about coming together and it just pounds through with anger and energy. The set is basically a blast through the first album as expected, filled with youthful passion for what they have created, a great debut album.

The set ends with a track from their debut EP from back in 2016, ‘Swine, the track that first brought them to my attention. Without doubt tonight is a triumphant occasion for both the band and fans, yet with that said the set was just compiled with mostly their first album, let’s see what these lads have to offer with their second record. I can’t see it coming anytime soon with the festival season kicking off and the dust not even settled on attention of their debut.

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