Indieterria presents The Blinders Live at The Ritz

Dear comrades!

We have been following The Blinders for more than three years now and it’s always a joy to see them conquer new heights and achieving their goals (and being on a roll as certain songs says). The band has been working extremely hard to be where they are now and their dedication has inspired their fans, industry professionals and countless bands all together.

Being ahead of the game is a hard task, but with a dedicated team, excellent ideas, and a bit of luck, everything is possible. And this blog will be dedicated to another of the band’s ideas that is going to revolutionize the DIY indie scene.

On July 26th, The Blinders notified their followers that to commemorate the first anniversary of the release of their debut album “Columbia” (September 21st), they would be releasing a double live album. Recorded during the sold out show in Manchester on 27th of April, the double vinyl delight will include the entirety of “Columbia” plus several previously unreleased tracks. The record will be released by Blood Records, a recently launched crowd purchasing platform for exclusive LP releases that is run by the same wonderful people who own Flying Vinyl.

Black Records logo

You can get your own copy here: https://www.blood-records.co.uk/current-release/
Buy a copy of “Columbia” (if you have been living under a rock and you still don’t owe one!): https://theblinders.tmstor.es/

Now, as PR people, we do love good marketing, especially a really clever one. The first thing we saw on 25th of July, early in the afternoon, was a cryptic post with a large black and white picture of the band stading in front of the Ritz in Manchester (please notice Twisted Wheel poster on the right!) The caption read: “6 pm today”

Now, this kind of mysterious notifications are not for the faint hearted, as it could mean everything from the new album being announced to the band calling it quits. Our blood pressure went slightly up but after a refreshing cup of melissa tea (good for the nerves), we reached the conclusion that it cannot be anything bad, so we patiently waited for more information. And 5 minutes past six, we were rewarded with the following messages:

Soon, two promotional videos were made available to promote the album and they were seen more than 50.000 times on band’s combined social media (about 30k views on Facebook, 10k on Twitter and 10k on Instagram). Very good achievement with just a couple of Tweets and shares. Colour us impressed.

 

Official statements on Facebook accounts and newsletter followed to activate the fanbase:

 

You can see the newsletter at: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=3b6499050c5a99dfa9d83f2e3&id=1708a96420
Flying Vinyl posts are available at: https://www.facebook.com/flyingvinylmusic/posts/2317772881662911

And in the end, The Blinders posted some of the images taken by Sam Crowston during their show at the Ritz:

The campaign finally went live on 29th of July and during the first 24 hours, nearly 260 copies flew off the virtual shelves. Pre-orders were opened until the 12th of August when they closed exactly at 10:00 am. In all, 1000 copies of the album were ordered and sold. Let us repeat that once again so it sinks in. It took two weeks for the band to sell 1k copies of a double live album. If that doesn’t make your jaws drop to the floor, then seriously your jaws must be either glued or wired. Those who preordered “Live at the Ritz” were told to wait 5 weeks for the delivery and in the mean time, more detailes were made available.

The record was mixed at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool (Elbow, The Verve, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, Pulp, The Charlatans recorded there among others) by Alex Queen who quickly shared the good news on Twitter:

Blood Records released the official statement upon the announcement:

“Following their bracingly thrilling debut album, ‘Columbia’, The Blinders continue as one the UK’s most anticipated emerging acts placing them at the vanguard of a generation of politically engaged British guitar bands. This exclusive, vinyl-only Blood Records release of The Blinders: Live At The Ritz features ‘Columbia’ live in its entirety alongside new unreleased material, pressed to 2x black 12″ LPs. The audio was professionally recorded, mixed and mastered from the band’s April sold out show at The Ritz to 1500 fans.

All orders will be signed (if you would like yours unsigned please write ‘unsigned’ in the delivery notes) and hand-numbered on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Customers will also receive priority access to tickets for a special Manchester launch event on September 21st as well as being automatically entered into a prize draw to win an exclusive piece of artwork.

Please note: Blood Records is a pre-ordering platform, providing the minimum sales quantity is met the records will be shipped five weeks after the deal ends.”

THE RECORD:

 

As stated above, it is a double live LP presed on a black vinyl. Running time is 60 minutes. “Columbia” was 42 minute long and we have 4 new, unreleased tracks added. Those who pre-order the album can expect a true VIP treatment: all copies will be signed by the band, buyers will receive priority access to record launch event and an automatic entry into prize draw for exclusive artwork. There will be only 1000 copies of the record pressed.

Personnel:
Thomas Haywood  – vocals and guitar
Charlie McGough – bass
Matty Neale – drums, backing vocals
Max Grindle (bass player of Document) – harmonica on “Rat In A Cage” and piano on “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)”
Thomas Castrey (drummer of Saytr Play) – percussion on “Where No Man Comes”

Recorded at: O2 Ritz, Manchester, April 27th 2019
Mixed: Parr Street Studios, Liverpool (May-July 2019)
Mixed by: Alex Queen
Live Sound by: James Higham
Mastered by: Chris Daniels
Art Direction: Nasty Man Creations
Photography & Design: Sam Crowston
Lighting Design: Mangata Collective
Special thanks: Mark Payne, Chris Phillips, Dave Bonner, chris Exstance, Patricia Payne, SJM Concert, Jamie Wade & X-Ray touring, Flying Vinyl, Modern Sky UK and team

Label: Blood Records – https://www.blood-records.co.uk

Tracklist:
Side A
Gotta Get Through
Brave New World
Wither*

Side B
Free The Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Where No Man Comes
Forty Days & Forty Nights*
Ballad Of Winston Smith

Side C
L’Etat C’Est Moi
Hate Song
Lunatic With A Loaded Gun*
Rat In A Cage

Side D
Et Tu/Berlin Wall
Brutus
Orbit [Salmon Of Alaska]
Swine**

* (previously unreleased)
** (not included on “Columbia” and released as a stand alone, double side single “Ramona Flowers/Swine” in 2017. The 7″ single was pressed in 500 copies only and is now a collectible item. More information: https://www.discogs.com/The-Blinders-Swine/release/10784923

 

Record release and the launch event timeline:

 

On 9th of August, the band revealed more details about their show that would take place on 21st of September. We have been told that there will be an exhibition, Q+A session and a stripped back set.

A week later, fans were electrified by another announcement – those who preordered the album were offered a chance to purchase tickets to the lauch event before everybody else. The band also revealed where the event would be taking place. Despite first bets being placed on The Night People (The Blinders’ favourite place in Manchester), a popular central location has been chosen – 33 Oldham Street.

Fans were asked to check their emails, follow the link sent to them and register tickets using their unique pre-order numbers. Due to limited number of places (33 Oldham Street can hold only 40 people in seated environment), the band used “first come, first serve” basis. The registration was closed on Sunday, 18th of August 2019 at 12:00 pm.

On 25th of August, The Blinders announced that the tickets will be available to purchase on Tuesday 27th of August, at 10:00 am.

Modern Sky UK (The Blinders’ record label) released their own announcement on the same day, revealing that the event would be hosted by popular Manchester DJ, Shell Zenner (XS Manchester/Amazing Radio):

Tuesday came finally and the loyal fans of the band, went ticket hunting on the internet. As with the demand for the record, the tickets dissapeared so quickly that many were left disappointed! We are not sure how quickly they were sold out but it must have been less than 20 minutes. At 12:20 pm, the band released the following statement:

After speaking to the management, the band released another statement, announcing that due to massive demand for the tickets, The Blinders would host a matinee event on the same day, between 1:00 pm and 4:pm.  Tickets were again released the following day and those who couldn’t purchase them on the previous occassion, could still attend the event, just in the afternoon instead of the evening.

As you may guess, the second batch of tickets, were also sold out in a flash. What else to expect, eh?

On September 11th, another announcement was made. As Shell Zenner was unable to host two events, another special guest was invited to do the Q+A session with the band. This special guest was…the legendary DJ, Dave Haslam himself!

Sadly as the event date was getting closer, something that nobody could predict, has happened. Thomas Haywood became ill and The Blinders were forced to cancel many domestic and European dates. On 16th of September, the band issued the following statement apologizing for pushing both events to 2nd of November 2019:

To make it up to the fans for the unplanned re-schedule, the band along with Shell Zenner came up with a clever plan – they held a DJ set at 33 Oldham Street and the entry to the event was free. Matty and Charlie were to make an appearance and the doors were opening at 9:00 pm.

We don’t have to tell you that the place was packed and people were queuing outside to get into the small club! Matty and Charlie arrived exactly on time and the party lasted until late. What was played? Everything from Manchester classics, to Abba, Britney Spears (“Toxic”), Whigfield (“Saturday Night”) and some unexpected bangers such as Cheeky Girls (“Cheeky Song”). Good fun was had by all. And some pretty good dance moves were caught on camera.

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love you more than words, thank u for having my back, always x

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The Final Product and the reception:

 

On September 21st, the debut album, “Columbia” turned one. The band celebrated the occassion by sending out the “Live At The Ritz” albums out to fans and making a tweet:

And the response to the album has been fantastic. It debuted at number 8 on the official UK Charts! This is the first double-live album by an indie artist to go into top ten on Vinyl Chart!

Official Vinyl charts for 27.09.2019

You can check the statistics for the Vinyl top 40 at: https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/vinyl-albums-chart/
To see those exact results as on the screenshot, please use the date of 27th of September 2019.

That’s not all! Live At the Ritz made it into two other charts as well: Official Independent Albums chart at number 23 and Independent Breakers Albums chart at number 4! We have screens to prove it!

 

We have received our copy as well and we absolutely love the album. The release comes with 2 black vinyls, packed into a single sleeve. It would be much better if it was a a gate fold – but hey we cannot complain! The design is similar to the “Columbia”, each copy is numbered (our is 128!) and signed by all three band members with a lovely silver marker.  We have taken a couple of pictures after unpacking to show you how it looks like:

 

And what do the fans say?
The reviews are universally positive. Just see the reactions that can be found online:

Live At The Ritz showcases the band’s talent and proves that if you haven’t seen them just yet, then now’s the time to do so. The Blinders are only going to grow from here” – Katie Macbeth for Indie Is Not A Genre blog
https://www.indieisnotagenre.com/the-blinders-live-at-the-ritz-review/

“Two years on, they are inevitably a better live band. Tighter, harder, and wiser, this live album is a no brainer of a purchase. If you have never seen or heard them, we cordially invite you to the hoodwink society”- Mike Adams for Travellers Tunes
https://travellerstunes.com/features/the-blinders

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NOW PLAYING | The Blinders – Live at The Ritz. One of my fav bands @theblinders of the last few years have come up with a limited & signed live album. Recorded at The Ritz, Manchester back in April this year. It’s a pure sweaty Rock’n’Roll live experience on double vinyl. Hand numbered, this is 135/1000 and hand signed makes this a nice little collectible of a live force on the music scene right now. Side A. A1 Gotta Get Through A2 Brave New World A3 Ramona Flowers A4 Wither Side B. B1 Free The Slave B2 I Can't Breathe Blues B3 Where No Man Comes B4 Forty Days & Forty Nights B5 Ballad Of Winston Smith Side C. C1 L'Etat C'Est Moi C2 Hate Song C3 Lunatic With A Loaded Gun C4 Rat In A Cage Side D. D1 Et Tu D2 Brutus D3 Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) D4 Swine – – – – #theblinders #liveattheritz #lp #lps #12inch #33rpm #record #records #vinyl #vinylcollector #vinylcollection #vinyljunkie #vinyligclub #vinyloftheday #vinyladdict #nowplaying #nowspinning #vinylsofinstagram #vinylporn #vinyllove #vinylcommunity #audioporn #turntable #recordplayer #recordcollection #recordcollector #instavinyl #instavinyls

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We will be updating the blog as more information becomes available. And of course, we will be posting a long review from the  event on 2nd of November!

Keep your eyes open and support your scene!
xxx
R+M

Indieterria Photo Review – The Blinders at FIB Benicassim and Super Bock Super Rock

Hola!

The summer festival seasons is in full swing and The Blinders are having one of the busiest periods in their history. They have been on a massive tour since April that has taken them all over UK and Europe.  Due to popular demand, we are keeping our hand on the pulse and we are trying to bring you the best festival coverage as it happens. We can travel to many shows on our own, but if the distance is too far, we team up with our special correspondents for pictures, videos and information.

So far we have covered the main tour for 2019. Please allow few minutes for the blog to open as it is one of the longest and most complex we have ever written.
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/the-columbia-tour-continues-anno-domini-2019/

Glastonbury performance at LeftField stage:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/indieterria-photo-review-the-blinders-at-glastonbury-2019/

Today, we would like to cover two recent festivals, The FIB Benicassim (19th of July) and Super Bock Super Rock (20th of July). Thank you to those who work closely with us to help cover this summer tour and we hope you will enjoy the review. We will try to update it with reviews and pictures as they become available.

Enjoy!

FIB Benicassim Festival, Madrid, Spain

FIB Festival poster

Set List (not in this particular order): “L’Etat C`Est Moi”, “Rage”, “Brave New World”, “40 Days & 40 Nights”, “The Writer”, “Wither”, “ICB Blues” and “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”, “Where No Man Comes” and “Rat In A Cage”,
Time: 30 minutes
Stage Times: 20:20 (original time) and 9:00 (after delays)
Stage: Carefour  Stage

Reviews:
“The Carrefour Stage may be just one out of several stages at the festival but they have prepared a very interesting line up. Among the acts we just had to see this year were singer/songwriter Almendralejo (Hache Retamar), punk rockers The Blinders whose songs contain a huge dose of political criticism, a 19 year old singer Yellow Days that played blues, jazz and soul inspired music, Scottish singer/songwriter Gerry Cinnamon and the Spanish folk and rock and roll septet, La m.o.d.a.” – HOY Magazine
https://www.hoy.es/almendralejo/cantautora-hache-retamar-20190721002044-ntvo.html

“We started the afternoon off with powerful performance from The Blinders. Their music is a mixture of punk and psychedelia and lyrics are loaded with political messages” – text and pictures by Iñaki Espejo-Saavedra for Muzikalia Magazine 
https://muzikalia.com/cronica-del-viernes-del-fib-benicassim-2019

FIB Benicassim 2019

FIB Benicassim 2019

Viernes del FIB Benicassim 2010

 

Sam Hoy, our special correspondent at FIB sent us the pictures below. Please do not share without his permission!
You can follow Sam at: https://www.facebook.com/sam.hoy7

 

 

You can can see more media from the festival below:

Artist profile at the festival:
https://fiberfib.com/en/artist/5c73b9ea0f726

Festival information and social media:
http://fiberfib.com
http://www.fiberfib.com/entradas.php
http://www.fiberfib.com/en/entradas.php
http://www.facebook.com/fibfestival
http://www.twitter.com/fiberfib
http://fiberfib.tumblr.com/
http://instagram.com/fiberfib/
https://www.youtube.com/user/fiberfib
https://open.spotify.com/user/fiberfib

 

SUPER BOCK SUPER ROCK Festival, Lison, Portugal 

EDP stage at Super Bock Super Rock Festival

Set List (not in this particular order): “Gotta Get Through”, “L’Etat C’est Moi”, “Rat In A Cage”, “Rage”, “Brave New World”, “40 Days & 40 Nights”, “The Writer”, “Wither”, “Ramona Flowers” “ICB Blues” and “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”
Time: 40 minutes
Stage Times: 4:45 CET
Stage: EDP Stage

Media Reviews:

“The Blinders are power alternative rock trio from Doncaster, UK. The band members were red hot on stage and gave an inspirational, enthusiastic show. Firm bass line, heavy drums, distorted fuzzy guitars and torn yet poetic lyrics makes them one of the best garage bands out there. There is more to them and we want to see them again and again!” – Fernando Araujo (text) and Stefani Costa for SAPO Magazine
https://mag.sapo.pt/showbiz/artigos/uma-mistura-de-ritmos-e-grandes-emocoes-no-ultimo-dia-de-super-bock-super-rock

Large photo review is also availabe at SAPO MAGAZINE:
https://mag.sapo.pt/showbiz/fotos/de-profjam-a-the-blinders-o-ultimo-dia-do-super-bock-super-rock-em-fotos#&gid=1&pid=25

Our Review:
We have asked our special correspondent, Fábio Pais, how did the show go and this is what he had to say: “People really liked their show. The Blinders played a 40 minute set and were the opening act for the festival’s secondary stage. It started with just a dozen of people but the audience kept on growing and growing. By the end of their gig, there might have been hundreds of people in attendence. I think The Blinders really captured their attention. The band seemed to enjoyed their concert. In my opinion, they were really, really great! I hope they return to Portugal soon”

After a very stressful show at FIB on Saturday, Sunday proved to be very good day for the band. They entered the stage exactly on time and there was no technical difficulties that marred their shortened set in Spain. Surprisngly, the change of image, forced by their late arrival, survived overnight and the band decided to perform without the war paint and the black clothing. Thomas wore a white slevless tee, black trousers with stripes and had a plaid shirt wrapped around his waist. As usual, Charlie wore a grey suit and long sleeve light shirt (he took off his jacket in the middle of the show) and Matty opted for a white top and blue jeans. The change in their apperance was noticed by the Super Bock Super Rock Radio Station who praised their “casual style” on their social media, calling their performance “What a blinder!”

All following images and videos (Brave New World) are courtesy of Super Bock Super Rock social media team:

All pictures taken at Super Bock Super Rock in the gallery below belong to Fábio Pais. Please do not use it without his permission. Gracias.
You can follow him at: https://www.instagram.com/fabiopais8/ 

You can see more media from the festival:

 

Videos: A recording of “The Writer” is available on Youtube:

You can see the entire festival schedule at: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzfyERYBrNj/

Festival information and social media:
https://www.facebook.com/events/342954059851119/
https://www.superbocksuperrock.pt/concertos/the-blinders/
https://www.facebook.com/sbsr/
https://twitter.com/sbsr
https://www.instagram.com/superbocksuperrock/

If you have any pictures or videos you’d like to contribute to this review, please let us know!
You can always email as at vanadianavenue@gmail.com

We will be more than happy to add good quality materials. Have fun and watch this space as the coverage is (truly) never ending!
Love and indie,
Rita and Malcia Dabrowicz

Indieterria Photo Review – The Blinders at Glastonbury 2019

Dear Readers,

Performing at Glastonbury Festival, the biggest festival in the world, is a dream come true for all musicians. The Blinders have been invited to join the official line up at the last minute after Sam Fender was forced to cancel his apperance at the Worthy Farm due to illness. Their accouncement that they will play the politically charged Leftfield Stage as the main support act for the singer/songwriter KT Tunstall, sent massive shock waves throughout their social media. The band performed on Saturday, 29th of June between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. They shared the scene with a fantastic group of other artists including Fontaines D.C., Billy Bragg, Queen Zee and Dream Wife to name just a few.

Set list (not in this particular order): “Gotta Get Through”, “Brave New World”, “L’Etat C’Est Moi”, “Ramona Flowers”, “The Writer”, “Lunatic With A Loaded Gun”, “Wither”, “ICB Blues”, “Rat In A Cage”, “Hate Song” and “Et Tu/Berlin Wall/Brutus”. Their set lasted about 50 minutes.

Glastonbury artwork and releases:
Once The Blinders have been confirmed, the festival marketing machine went into its standard mode and all social media have been updated to include the Doncaster trio. Within hours, The Blinders name appeared on official websites, posters and an announcement has been issued.

Official social media:
https://www.instagram.com/glastoleftfield/
https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/areas/left-field/
https://twitter.com/glastoleftfield
https://www.instagram.com/glastoleftfield/
https://www.facebook.com/glastoleftfield

Official pictures and videos:
As usual, on the next day after the gig, The Blinders uploaded a set of official pictures taken by Sam Crowston of Sam Crowston Imagining/Nasty Man Creations.
Sam has been working as an official visualizer for the band since 2016 and is responsible for all videos, pictures and videography.

 

Fan pictures:
Indieterria is proud to say that The Blinders have some of the most beautiful fans in existance! They are not only willing to travel all over the country and abroad to attend their shows, but they always share pictures, videos with those who couldn’t be there. When fans realized that the BBC Glastonbury coverage sadly didn’t cover LeftField, they immediately shared their own recordings and photos. We have teamed with Alan Wells, Bob Wallis and Liam O’Farrell to bring you a great selection of pictures/videos from their Glastonbury set! Thank you so much guys! Please respect the copyrights and if you’d like to share those pictures, please provide full credit to the authors.

Bob Wallis gallery:
Bob can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/bob.wallis.75

The Blinders before their show at the Leftfield Stage. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission (and with a guest apperance from Photographer, Alan Wells)

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Thomas Haywood of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Charlie McGough of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Matty Neale of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Matty Neale of The Blinders at Leftfield stage at Glastonbury 2019. Picture by Bob Wallis. Used with permission

Liam O’Farrell gallery:
Liam Can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/liam.ofarrell.16

Fan Videos:
The Blinders are known for their atmospheric and energetic live performances and their show at Glasto was not an exception. The tent was packed and everybody had good time, danced, pogo’ed and sang along. You will notice that during the set, drummer, Matty Neale, sustained a hand injury but kept on playing! This has earned him a massive respect from everyone in the audience. We have to say, we are very impressed. We also hope that the injury is not serious and Matty will recover in no time.

“The Writer” and “Brave New World” filmed by Bob Wallis:

Another (short) video clip of The Blinders performing “Brave New World” taken by Alan Wells:

“Brutus” (without “Et Tu”/”Berlin Wall”) has been filmed by gorillaprint:

Articles:
There are few interesting articles about The Blinders playing at Glastonbury, so please knock yourself out if you still haven’t had enough 🙂 !

https://www.nme.com/festivals/glastonbury-2019/political-pilton-heres-guide-everything-political-glastonbury-2019-2512338
https://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/people/doncaster-band-the-blinders-set-to-play-glastonbury-alongside-kt-tunstall-and-billy-bragg-342369
https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/people/doncaster-band-the-blinders-set-to-play-glastonbury-alongside-kt-tunstall-and-billy-bragg-342369
https://offthehookmusic.com/festival-highlights

Thank you again to those who made this post possible. You are absolute rock and roll stars.
We will be monitoring the internets and if something else pop ups, then we will let you know (but of course)!

Thank you for listening and enjoy the summer festival season.
M+R

Indieterria Review – The Blinders at Thekla in Bristol

Event poster at Thekla

Gum Soul, White Room, The Blinders 
Thekla
Bristol
11/11/2018

11th of November 2018 was surely a day to remember. At that time each year, we celebrate National Independence Day in Poland and The Remembrance Day in the UK. This time however, for music fans, it was also the last day of the Blinders’ October/November tour supporting their debut album “Columbia”. Jokingly nicknamed “The Last Battle of Bristol” this date was hugely anticipated for several reasons. The Blinders haven’t played Bristol since their This Feeling days (February 2017 at The Stag & Hounds) and in the interviews, the band was adamant that the Johnny Dream and The Codeine Scene personas will be permanently gone. Expecting a bloody send off, fans quickly  grabbed offered tickets. The gig was not a sold out event but not many tickets remained at the door and it is safe to say that Thekla was nicely packed.  We arrived around 6:30 pm as the doors opened and we had to stand in a long queue to get inside. If you have to wait for the admission, it is a good sign that the concert will be a success.

The venue from the outside

It is a common knowledge that Thekla is one of the most unusual venues in the country. It is actually a real boat turned into music venue and when you see it for the first time, it can look really strange. Not Upside-Down strange, just strangely strange if you know what we mean. Yet, you quickly start appreciating the facilities they have: two bars (one long on the ground floor and one upstairs), upper deck with quiet seating section and a balcony, large toilets, bands quarters, rehearsal rooms, cloakroom and a large secured smoking area in the back. There is also an outside sitting area on the main deck that must be really pleasant in the summer, but it was too cold for us to go there although some locals were brave enough to sit there with cold drinks wearing nothing but shorts and a vest. To each their own as the song goes…

Johnny Dream poster exhibited at the lower bar

Better shot of the same poster – this is how A0 format looks like. Its huge!

The view of lower deck as seen from the upper bar

After leaving our bags and jackets in the cloakroom, we entered the main concert space with large scene and merch stands on the left. Previous reviews mentioned already that The Blinders selection was much smaller than on previous gigs but there is no reason to complain about it. The band sold out their vinyl records, CD’s and most of their tees and we were really happy to hear their tour manager repeating himself saying “Sorry, this is our last date, we are sold out!”. We wish all the bands we have seen this year could say the same. There were many signed posters and badges for fans to grab so nobody left the shop empty handed.

The Lower Bar

The door to the green room

Stage times

On the evening, The Blinders were supported by two bands: Gum Soul and The White Room who replaced Calva Louise for the second leg of the tour. We haven’t seen any of them playing live before, so we were looking forward to their performances, especially after reading very enthusiastic reviews. Gum Soul were the first ones to hit the stage, some 45 minutes after we arrived. Their music can be classified as college rock/grunge that is fused with typical British indie. This is a very good mix and the band played a proper, strong 30 minute set. We had a chance to quickly speak with them after their show and we learnt that they are based in Bath but they play regularly in Bristol and managed to develop a healthy fan following. It was visible as once they started playing, the first few rows were populated by their fans who knew lyrics to each of the five songs they played (“Empty Room”, “Sour”, “In & Out”, “Scratch Ignorance” and “The Knees”). We liked “Sour” the most – it is their leading single and a very good track to play live. Gum Soul have formed only in February this year, but they seem to already have a distinctive sound and they know which direction they want to go. We will be keeping an eye on them in 2019 as the band is promising new material. If you have a chance to see them play locally, please do.

The White Room are described as a psychedelic pop, a marriage of convenience between The Sparks and early David Bowie, with art rock and shoe gaze influences. They are a five piece from Brighton, known for their flamboyant sense of fashion (Simon Le Bon meets David Byrne) and stage theatrics. Their lead singer, Jake Smallwood is very charismatic and he knows how to be in the centre of attention. He grabs the microphone with both hands, walks to the edge of the scene and pushes himself as far into the audience as possible, sometimes singing mere centimetres from the gig goers’ faces. This literal, in-your-face approach, seems to be working like a charm – the girls are mesmerized, the blokes are stretching their hands to pat him on his back and shoulders. With his platinum blonde hair and  jade green shirts, Jake looks more like an actor than a musician but oh boy he can sing. His voice is crystal clear and again balances somewhere between Bowie, Le Bon and Mark Hollis. Except for Smallwood, the rest of the band comprises of Jacob Newman on guitar, Tristan Sava on keyboard, Hen Sava on drums and Josie McNamarra on bass. They have just released their double EP “Eight” and we had the pleasure of hearing all the best tracks from it: “Tomorrow Always Knew”, “Circles”, “Stole the I.V.” and “The Blue”.  The band has been around for nearly two years and they have a large and dedicated fan base. they will be on tour in the late winter/early spring of 2019, so please keep your eyes open as they might come to the (independent) venue close to you.

White Room in action

This band needs to be seen live to understand what an incredible act they are

Just like in Birmingham, once the support acts were gone and the lights dimmed, the atmosphere changed rapidly. With the headliner about to come on the stage, fans grouped tightly on the main floor and on the balcony. In certain moments, the pushing and showing in darkness got so bad that the security had to calm down  some of the most eager of fans. We sadly won’t remember the gig too well as we had to leave after the third song due to medical emergency but it was good to see the band in fantastic shape again. The show started very similar to their London gig, with Gene Wilder’s “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie that quickly blended into Columbia style propaganda monologue by Patrick T. Davies. And once the monologue was finished, “Gotta Get Through” smashed our eardrums and sent the crowd into frantic pogo. “Brave New World” followed without break, only to slow down with “Where No Man Comes” and then turn into the poetic declamation of “Free The Slaves”.  We have not seen the rest of the gig but we were told that Thomas Haywood, sat on the floor among the audience singing his mantra “There is no hope” during “Swine”, Charlie McGough battered his bass with intensity not seen previously and Matty Neale nearly broke his drum set with powerful blows. Was it a great send off to Johnny Dream and a proper good bye after 22-day tour? The answer is yes.

Even if it was our first time seeing The Blinders live, those three songs would be enough to turn us into believers. This band is going places, and this is not a secret. This is the truth. They have been predestined for the greatness and they will never settle for anything else.

After all, they’ve got the divine right.

The merch stand

Merch stand

Setlist:

Gotta Get Through
L’etat C’est Moi
Brave New World
Where No Man Comes
Free the Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Swine
Hate Song
Rat In a Cage
Ramona Flowers
Et Tu
Brutus/Berlin Wall
Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)

“Columbia” is available on Modern Sky UK
https://theblindersofficial

The Upper Balcony at Thekla right before The Blinders gig

Audience patiently waiting for the Columbia transmission

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We often try to photograph and film some part of performance to make sure our review is as close to the experience as possible. It it also to give our readers a chance to see how the event unfolded. Please find below some galleries for your enjoyment.

Photo gallery: Gum Soul


Photo gallery: White Room (soundcheck)


Photo gallery: White Room (performance)

 


Photo gallery: The Blinders

We have been writing extensively about the Blinders on our blog Indieterria, so please have a look if you want to know more.

Introduction to the band:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/indieterria-presents-the-blinders/
Interview with The Blinders:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/indieterria-meets-the-blinders/
Columbia review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/
Columbia album performance blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-library-archives/
Columbia Tour blog:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/indieterria-presents-the-columbia-tour/
Beyond Columbia Tour:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/the-columbia-tour-continues-anno-domini-2019/
The Blinders at Castle and Falcon in Birmingham review:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/indieterria-review-the-blinders-at-castle-and-falcon-in-birmingham/

Again, our thanks go to the band and the crew for allowing us this extensive coverage.

And we are not done yet! We have seen The Blinders few weeks later in Manchester – so another blog will soon be up. Stay tuned.

Mal+Rita