Blossoms @ 02 Academy

This Friday night I headed down to the O2 to see, amongst others, the brilliant Blossoms. The indie guitar band from Stockport are currently headlining the NME Awards tour, playing a string of dates in the wake of the New Musical Express’ annual awards ceremony.

The five piece are probably the biggest thing in indie pop at the moment and rightfully so. Their debut album went to number one last year thanks to well written songs and Myles Kellock’s ever present synths which give the band a unique sound. Their live performances are just as good, the audience love them and frontman Tom Ogden is a master of crowd work.

Their music resounded with fans of all ages, from the 13 year olds with their Mums at the back, the 18 year olds in the pit, and the 45 year olds on the balcony. Their music is fun without being immature, accessible without being dull.

But you probably know all of this, Blossoms have been everywhere recently. However, you probably don’t know much about support band Cabbage.

Their anti band name goes hand in hand with their anti band image. Drummer Asa Morley wears a faded Los Pollos Hermanos tee, bassist Stephen Evans spends the whole set hiding behind his hair and guitarist/singer/synth player Lee Broadbent wears a suit which was definitely sourced from the racks of a CLIC Sargent or similar.

But it works beautifully.

The other vocalist (that’s right, they have two vocalists as all great band should), Joe Martin has the facial features of David Bowie, the body of Iggy Pop, and the voice of Shaun Ryder. It makes for an eclectic and entertaining mix and runs especially well with Cabbage’s brand of tongue in cheek, political indie punk.

Even if you don’t want to listen to Cabbage, at least look at their song titles, you’re bound to like them. A few examples include: ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’, ‘Necroflat in the Palace’ and the deceptively political ‘Free Steven Avery (Wrong American)’. They’re fun, they don’t try too hard (or at least they’re trying really hard to not look like they’re trying too hard) and they have exciting and meaningful songs played with passion.

A welcome break from the stale indie guitar music that dominates the ailing scene at the moment, Cabbage don’t sound like they’ve been engineered to be your younger sister’s sex idol. There’s no sweet melodies laced with tales of clearly made up love stories, no delicate guitar melodies that sound like they’re played by a cousin of HAL 9000. Instead we’re presented with a sound which is raw and unrestricted.

The combination of Blossoms’ pop, and Cabbage’s punk made for a great night of music. Blossoms are a great band, If you haven’t heard their eponymous debut yet I highly recommend it. If you’re already au fait with the quintet then I implore you to give Cabbage a go. They’re unsigned, have only been around for a year, and they’ve already got a 12 track EP entitled ‘Young, Dumb and Full Of…’ packed with enough orchestrated carnage to get you through to Easter. Give it a spin.

Daniel Brashaw