The Verse’s Alex Berdugo & Kate Horrobin headed down to the VO5 NME Awards Show at Brighton Dome to see some of the most lauded indie acts of the last year…
As newfound rockstar Rory Wynne took to the stage as support for indie-pop sensation Blossoms, his emphatic aura was palpable. He stood tall alongside his fellow instrumentalists, his trademark guitar slung around his neck. As soon as he began, Wynne’s vocals were rough and powerful; it as instantly easy to see why he was chosen to perform.
Post Party Confusion was the standout track of the night, which was no surprise being Wynne’s most popular song (according to Spotify streams). The audience were captivated by the passionate performance, the electrifying guitar being a key component. Rory Wynne’s ferocity is a force to be reckoned with and a spectacle to behold, and perfectly paved the way for punk rock band Cabbage, as they share a similar rebellious attitude.
Cabbage gave a high energy performance – provoking mosh pits and even crowd surfers. We were surprised that an audience could get so excited during a song about an Indispensable Pencil. But they brought attitude to the stage. Aggression and intrusive light shows, combined with songs about pencils and dinner ladies are Cabbage’s unique formula.
Finally, Cabbage vacated the stage. The lights dimmed. Drumming started. Kanye West’s BLKKK SKKKN HEAD boomed around the Dome and a figure emerged. Kanye? Is that you? Oh, Tom Ogden that’s right, we’re seeing Blossoms. The dramatic opening worked wonders on the crowd who were all hollering and getting fired up to rap about when they’re zoning, at four in the mo’ning.
Blossoms were superb instrumentalists, playing cohesively throughout. It was visible from the audience how in touch they all were sonically – they were flawless in their delivery. The band’s sound for the tour was dynamic and kept each song interesting, from Blown Rose to their biggest hit Charlemagne. A mixture of acoustic and electric guitars were complemented by melodic synthesiser work and – in true rock and roll fashion – a fuzzy bass guitar tone. This variety brought the songs to life and helped Blossoms give a superb live performance.
In a personal highlight of the set, singer and guitarist Tom Ogden gave a stripped back performance of My Favourite Room. The crowd collectively sang their lungs out, providing great support for the band and a brilliant live atmosphere. Ogden also played brief versions of stadium fillings Half The World Away by Oasis and (quite bizarrely) Last Christmas by Wham (no doubt in homage to the late George Michael).
Overall, Blossoms met and exceeded expectations with their phenomenal set. They could have perhaps created more hype on stage and been more organic with the crowd – though their stage presence was still undeniable. If tonight proved anything, it’s that Blossoms is a force that promises to keep growing!