gig review: The Blinders at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Great things come to those who wait. Occasionally however something comes along so fresh, so invigorating, so exhilarating that there is little point in hanging about. The Blinders certainly haven't rested on any laurels following signing their first record deal with Modern Sky UK.
Debut album Columbia was released in September and in the short time since the young band from Doncaster embarked on an extensive UK tour. Venue upgrades, sold out crowds and a fervent, loyal following have come in quick succession.
Sunday is supposedly the day of rest, not a message that The Blinders fully absorbed at The Brudenell. Displaying a breath-taking level of self-belief and confidence rarely seen in a band this young, the build up to the band emerging was a long. low, penetrating bass heavy throb that literally dislodged ceiling tiles.
Resplendent in the war paint that adorns Columbia’s cover, lead singer Thomas Haywood epitomises the front man of a ‘punkadelic’, visceral rock band. Screaming his way through set (and album) openers Gotta Get Through and L’Etat C’Est Moi, swigging from a wine bottle, Haywood throws shapes, air kicks, falls to his knees for the hour long set. Almost as busy is his technician, knocking the microphone stand over as often as he does.
The set continues at a frenetic pace, bassist Charlie McGough and drummer Matt Neale providing the twelve cylinder, turbo powered engine to Haywood’s lead guitar and bawled vocals. McGough stood on the monitors, glaring outwards, there was no let up. Not that the crowd were looking for one. During Swine Haywood was in the crowd, circles forming around him.
The war paint had now been washed away by sweat, streaking over the guitar. Brutus saw Haywood back in the crowd, complete with guitar and mike lead. Fortunate to recover either piece of equipment the set concluded with a solo, Orbit, from Haywood, another astonishing piece of bravado from such a young set of heads.
The Blinders have everything in front of them. Their song writing is political and in the midst of an ocean of bands fighting for attention, are producing music that sets them apart. Others pale into the background, if not deliberately shun the spotlight, so futile is any effort to maintain parity with a band that are only on one, sharp and direct trajectory upwards.
Calva Louise’s debut album Rhinoceros is due for issue imminently and if singles I Heard A Cry and Outrageous set the scene for their strong, melodic, hard rock. Singer and guitarist Jess Allanic defied the usual support act nonchalance. Having plied their trade through strong support slots, Clava Louise should start thinking about the inevitable headline tour.
Leeds band Household Dogs had acquired a new band member recently, the Brudenell stage struggling to contain all five of them, possibly explaining lead singer Declan Newcome’s curious crouching style and willingness to leave the stage to complete the set from the bar. The band’s uninhibited and self-titled ‘pseudo-country’ is a modern and rawer interpretation of Big Country or Simple Minds, they continue to grow.