Forget the saying “never meet your heroes”. Sometimes you just have to meet them! When we heard that John Robb is working on a new material, we immediately knew we wanted to speak to him about it. John is not only a musician, magazine editor (he runs the wildly popular Louder than War magazine) and journalist. He is also a poet, a modern philosopher and an artist. His works have been shaping musical landscape since 1977 and Membranes are considered as one of the most influential punk/alternative rock outfits in the history of British music.
We sat down with John a couple of days before his (sort of) homecoming gig at the Manchester Ritz to discuss the new album, forces of nature, our place in the natural order of the universe and performing with a choir! It was a huge pleasure and priviladge to interview our childhood hero, so if you have one, don’t wait and apporach them. Disappointments happen, but so does the magic. And for us it was a magical experience.
“What Natures Gives… Nature Takes Away” is your first studio album since 2015 and a follow up to the acclaimed “Dark Matter/Dark Energy”. Four years is a long time. Can you tell us how this album shaped from its conception to the final mixes?
John Robb: We got busy. We didn’t expect the last album to go as well as it did and we were sidetracked by touring and life. All the time though the idea of the next album was germinating (ha!) like a seed. There is no rush for a band like ours, we are not a teenage hit machine. This stuff is art and art takes time. Just create when you are ready. Don’t wait for permission on how and when you create. When it was ready, it was ready. There were always ideas and when they had a grand scheme to fit into to with the nature thing then it all fell intom place. Making a record as epic and ambitious as this is, of course, a gamble. The underground scene has lots of rules and you are expected to conform by them! In many ways underground music is even more tightly regulated by what you are perceived to be allowed to do than the so called mainstream. Alternative music is often not that alternative, is it?
The album’s title, quickly brings connotation to the famous Bible verse “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). Was it something you wanted the listeners to notice and think about? Are we, as human beings, at the mercy of the forces of nature?
The front cover of “What Nature Gives”
John Robb: Yes, the album is about the beauty and violence of nature. It’s also about how we are the nature and as you say we are at the mercy of the forces of nature. We are at the mercy of its ebbs and flows. We do our best to try and break away but we are just chimps in suits. We like the idea of biblical preachers against a stormy sky shouting at nature. Like the good book can even have any control on the mighty forces already unleashed way before a god was even invented. As human beings, we are merely navigating this swirl of wildness and hoping for the best.
The “natural theme” is omnipresent on the record. Looking at the song titles, one cannot miss multiple references to animals (“Murder of Crows”, The City Is An Animal”), plants (“Demon Seed/Demon Flower”) or forests (“Deep In The Forest Where The Memories Linger”). Are we looking at concept album, or “dark rock opera” as one of the reviewers called it?
John Robb: “Dark rock opera” is a pretty cool term! There is a concept running through the album but it’s not as literal as it sounds. The songs take the themes of nature but each song is its own entity but the tracks run in an order. For me, it’s very much an album with each piece in place and not loads of tracks chucked together. Like a book with chapters! “A Strange Perfume” is about the power of pheromones and the powerful primal instinctive urge of the perfumes of our own scent whilst “A Murder Of Crows” is about the dark power of crows – their mystical power, their smartness and their cunning cruelty. The song also looks back on the roots of the word “murder” back to the plains of India where it is an actual Hindu word. “Demon Seed/Demon Flower” is a dark dub built around the themes brought up by Baudelaire – it’s a Baudelaire dub! It’s about how sex runs right through nature and we celebrate the voluptuous flowers trying to attract each other’s attention in the battlefield of life. “Deep In The Forest” is a celebration of the tomblike silence at the centre of the darkest first, a place where you can hear nature sigh in its eternal woody silence. It’s also part of a theme for the perfume we are working on with Lush which will be called “A Strange Perfume”! It smells of the erotic dampness, leaf mould and autumnal richness of the forest – a place where your memories linger for eternity.
Back cover of the new album
Two songs, however differ from the rest, thematically and musically. “Pandora’s Box” and “Mother Ocean/Father Time” seems to be inspired by classical Greek mythology. Can you tell us more about them?
John Robb: “Pandora’s Box” is the apocalyptic end piece of the album. It is about the power of love and lust and the curveballs that nature throws at us in life and that moment in time when you have to jump in and open the box.
“Mother Ocean/Father Time” is about the ocean and it’s also about my grandfather, a French Canadian who used to work on the cable ships as they crossed the Atlantic in the early 20th century. They used to call it the most dangerous job in the world. Eventually he stopped over in London for a couple of days and had the briefest of dalliances with my grandmother and was never seen again. I liked that mystery to their brief affair, that intensity of the moment against the backdrop of the mighty ocean. The music was written to reflect that with the riff being the churning of the waves and the salt stained seas, another celebration of the sheer power of nature. I used to live by the sea and loved that line between suburbia and the wild ocean. On one side the thin veneer of civilisation and on the other the wild and mysterious depths.
The record, which is set to be released on June 7th, is a double album full of intriguing guests: Chris Packham, Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny) and even a 20 – person choir. You have previously worked with Estonian female choir Sireen for festival slots and BIMM choir for a tour in the UK. Which choir have you employed on this occasion?
John Robb: I like working with guests. I think rock bands don’t have to be so rigid. We have done so many collaborations over the years. We played in Mexico last night and did a live collaboration with a local band who are called Descartes A Kant (who are really worth checking out). We had one rehearsal and a get on stage kind of affair and that is the kind of risk taking that always creates great art. The choir we used on this album is recruited from BIMM – we can’t afford to fly an Estonian choir around. It’s the price you pay for having ideas bigger than your budget. I put the call out on Facebook for a choir and Claire Pilling, who teaches singing at BIMM college came back to us and recruited the choir. It was great working with the Sireen choir who I saw play a festival in Estonia 5 years ago and asked if they wanted to do a gig with us straight after. They said yes and we played two amazing and brilliantly received gigs in Estonia with them which is where this album really started.
We want to ask you about another person who is featured on the album – dame Shirley Collins, the force behind English Folk Revival of 1960s and 1970s. What an incredible woman. She is 83 years old this year and just released her new album herself. Was it hard to convince dame Collins to appear on the record? It does look a bit like Metallica/Marianne Faithfull collaboration!
John Robb: Shirley is amazing. I met her through filming stuff for Lush, the cosmetics chain, who have created a media channel which I film content for. She was in Lush one night at the launch of a film about her and it was great to meet her. She is a wonderful woman. I asked her if she wanted to do a piece for the album and an hour later she was reading this great piece about the South Downs and the power of music and how it comes out of the very soil of the surrounding hills. Her description of the flowers and birds in the Sussex hills is so evocative and perfect and one of the highpoint of the album for me.
John Robb: I did a Google search! I was putting key words from the album and then searching through images and hoping something powerful and evocative would come up. What I needed was a piece of artwork that would reflect the themes of the album: the transient nature of nature, life and death and the passing of the seasons and the second that image appeared I know it was perfect. I like it because it is the seasons and death and also because its quite erotic and tragic and full of flowers and lingering and tragedy – just like the album!
The release is being promoted by leading single “A Strange Perfume”, where the band members are shown singing among the ballet dancers clad in black. The video is surprisingly dark and has some sort of nervousness to it. It was directed by Anya Cinnamon Machin – visual artist and cinematographer based in Manchester. Please tell us more about the story behind the video.
John Robb: The song itself was about the erotic power of scent. A celebration of the sensuality of all five senses like in the Kama Sutra where all the subtlties of attraction are celebrated. The idea was to have a ballet dancer as we hate mimed band videos and prefer something a bit off kilter. I think the world is a bit too full of blokes pretending to play guitars in videos and we didn’t want to throw another one out there. Anya is a brilliant young film maker from Manchester and it was a pleasure working with her. We are collaborating on a new video with her now – an animation. We wanted “A Strange Perfume” to be dark and shadowy and also to take an influence from the film Black Swan. That edgy tightrope walking film about the nature of intensity and madness – all themes that we are fascinated by.
Not sure if somebody else observed it before us but there is a strong representation of females on that release: from the Persephone/Demeter figures on the cover, to guests such as dame Shirley Collins, to video director, choir members and ballet dancers in the videos. Its very uplifting in the male dominated industry.
John Robb: Yes! Great that you noticed. We wanted to make a record that broke down the traditional “4 blokes against the world” nature of rock music. There are many bands that are great at that and some of them are my favourites but there’s no point in us joining that eternal queue. We were bored of that macho conservative world and thought of ways to break it up. Using the choir was one. The human voice in harmony is one of the greatest sounds imaginable and to hear that harmony in a modern world that is full of shouting and not very much listening, is quite something. Having that many women around, changes the dynamic of things and the sound and texture of the music. It was great to have guests like 84 year old folk singer Shirley Collins on the album, firstly, because we love her music and, secondly, because we want to celebrate age and wisdom and the beauty of older people. Jordan is on there because she is one of my best mates and an iconic presence who defined punk with an artful brilliance that made her so key. She had inspired us when we were growing up.
Right after the release of the record, you embark on a tour that will take you all over the UK (Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool among other dates), Europe and even to Mexico. What can we expect from you on stage?
John Robb: The music is still physical and will be played in a physical way. There are many epic moments but you can still dance to it. We will bring the choir to as many gigs as we possibly can and try and make something spectacular if we can.
In an recent interview with GigSluts you jokingly said that Membranes can only operate on a grand scale. Here’s our last question: imagine you have no restriction of any kind (financial, timely or artistic) when it comes to the production of your upcoming gigs. What do you go for? Las Vegas residency, grand opening at the Carnegie Hall or Michael Jackson-like world tour?
John Robb: I would love to play epic events like the Carnegie Hall! We did check how much it would cost to hire once and it was a lot! (laughing) We’d love to play at the Griffiths Observatory in LA, The Royal Albert Hall in London or the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. All brilliant locations with the choir and a sense of the spectacular. I love off-the-wall locations. We played the top of Blackpool Tower a couple years ago and we love cinemas where we can use the screen to play a film! I would also love to play caves or in the middle of a forest. Or have this 3D immersive light show that I have been working on. Just need the money to make it all work. Of course, it’s all very ambitious but ambition is the driver in breaking barriers in art, isn’t it?
Listen to Membranes on their official Spotify chanel:
So the October/November, 22-date Columbia tour is now a history. Another page in the book is now turned and we are looking towards the future, remembering the amazing music, new friends we made and places we went to. It was a bit of a blur, we have to admit. First the preparations, album release, the visits to record stores, then the gigs and now we find ourselves back to square one!
The Blinders are watching you! Picture copyright by Modern Sky UK
What does that mean? First of all, the well deserved rest for the band, management and the technical crew who worked like house elves over the last few months. Then of course, it is the writing of the new material, recording session for the second album sometime next year and even more gigs! The Blinders’ booking team is working really hard to satisfy the demand to see them play live. The band already have multiple shows booked for December 2018 and the beginning of 2019. We will be putting them all here, in one separate blog as it is easier to keep an eye on everything that will be happening soon.
If you’d like to read some of the previous blogs about The Blinders, please use the links below.
Are you ready for the 2019? Picture copyright by Modern Sky UK
Alongside the newly added tour dates, this blog will include everything else that our other posts have taken into account: interview, articles, reviews, press mentions, newsletters, videos and pictures etc. We will try (again) to prepare some sort of an encyclopedia containing all data, sources and information that should give you a clear picture of what is happening on the road. This post will be growing as new dates are added, as new materials are found – if we miss something, please kindly point us in the right direction and we will add the missing links or pictures. If you’d like to contribute something – that’s even better! We always love hearing from other fans and since it is impossible for us to be at every gig, we welcome any help in documenting the Blinders’ journeys. Each section is clearly marked so please check them as the time goes by – you will find new information being added!
New single: On March 23rd, The Blinders released a new single “Rat In a Cage”. This song has always been a fan-favourite, but the band had no plan to release it until their trip to SXSW. After performing the song on BBC6 Showcase at British Music Embassy for Steve Lamacq, the trio was bombarded with requests for an official release. The single will be the last one from their debut album “Columbia” and the fourth after “Gotta Get Through”, “L’Etat C’Est Moi” and “Brave New World”.
The song was also chosen as it offers a glimmer of hope even in the darkest of places and “in the most desperate of times”.
The song was released as a double side 7″ single in late April 2019 through Flying Vinyl. It had two tracks: “Rat In a Cage” (Side A) and “Nuclear Love” (Side B).
Rat In a Cage as a 7″ vinyl
The single came as a part of Flying Vinyl “The Revolution Will Not Be Digital” box through its Collectors Club feature. This box was the 50th in line and contained doubles from The Blinders, WhenYoung (“Never Let Go” and “Future”), Lazy Day (“Tell Me” and “Weird Cool”), Hotel Lux (“English Disease” and “Charades”) and Tusks (“Be Mine” and “Peachy Kin”). There was also a small booklet attached with information about the company and each band. The box has now sold out and is no longer available for purchase.
The Blinders mentioned inside the booklet
The cover of the booklet attached to the box
All singles inside and the main box cover
Side A of the vinyl single
Side B of the vinyl single
A limited print of additional 80 copies of the single has also been released on 31st of May 2019 through The Blinders’ official store. The single was exactly the same as the one one released through Flying Vinyl. It has sold out on the same day! Hold onto your copies kids, it is already a collectible item!
The single was available through The Blinders official store
So many rats and not enough cages…Reprint anybody?
The official release statement said: “‘Rat In a Cage’ is a song about hope & resistance. It is routed in the belief that collaboration and communication are fundamental to enacting change and pressing back against that which restricts our freedoms”.
Fun fact: The artwork used on the cover features a photograph taken by Rob Fay (Arathrael Photography), an award winning photojournalist whose pictures were printed all over the world and in almost every mainstream newspaper. He is represented by Getty Images. The rat you can see on the cover is named Percy. He was named after the character from Harry Potter and belongs to the photographer. He is white and brown and yawns in the picture 🙂
You can see him in person here: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/photo/yawning-fancy-rat-royalty-free-image/132036136?adppopup=true
Mixology: Mixology is the newest idea from the band to promote the emerging artists on the UK scene. At the beginning of their career, The Blinders received huge amount of backing from local press, DJ’s and fellow musicians. Not everyone is that lucky and the trio wants to share some of their good fortunes. Mixology will help the band chose the tracks that have the best chances of pushing young bands’ careers forward. The Blinders will add the songs to their official Spotify playlist, where it will be available to all users. And if we take into account that they have more than 100.000 monthly listeners and are featured on prominent curated lists, that’s a lot of opportunities and streams for young artists!
Visualization videos: The Blinders are working closely with Sam Crowston and Nasty Men Creations to bring you the best visualizations for their tour. All videos will be added one under the other. We already have few available for your viewing pleasure!
Merch: The band has listened to their fans and a new merchandise selection has been added to their official store. Right now you can choose among seven different types of tees, bags, badges and many more items. The merch can be ordered through the band’s official website, but also will be available at the gigs. If you like anything, grab it!
There is also a brand new merch prepared for the Spring tour that will be exclusively available at the venues. You can see the band members and technical crew playing the fashionistas and having their haute couture portfolio pictures taken:
TOUR STARTS TOMORROW
we embark on our UK tour tomorrow, commencing in Birmingham, new merch available at all shows
Safe Gigs for Women:
If you have read our reviews from the Columbia tour in November/December, you probably noticed that several shows have been disrupted by rough concert attendees. Several teenage fans and female gig goers reported negative experience to the management and the band took it extremely serious. To prevent any accidents from happening again, The Blinders teamed with Safe Gigs for Women for their UK tour. The charity is renowned for its excellent gig safety policy and will advise all how to take care of each others.
Newsletter: The Blinders have a very active newsletter that is informing fans about everything that is happening in their camp. The newsletter comes out quite often (usually if there is something new worth reporting) and you can subscribe to it by clicking on the link below:
The Blinders received a huge mentioned in the biggest music business magazine, Music Week! This is a real bible for every industry person and very prestigious magazine. We couldn’t be happier! The article also shined a light on the band’s label, Modern Sky UK.
The Blinders were interviewed before going to SXSW in Austin Texas plus they performed two songs on the show: “Brave New World” and “ICB Blues”. The interview starts at 1:06:09 mark).
You can listen to it at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p071ttrx
Or you can listen to our clip below:
International Reviews: “The Manchester based trio, The Blinders play each of their songs as it was their last. The intensity of their performance is enormous but it works surprisingly well creating a psychedelic garage rock genre. Punkrock meets shoegaze guitars, droning bass beat and grinding drumming, leads to an unusual combination. Live shows are something everyone has to see – the band gives everything they have to the audience: warpaint, sweat and bloodied instruments. This is pure frenzied performance influenced by Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and The Fall. The BBC has had them on their radar for a couple of years now and called them a ‘Must-See band'” – WDR.DE after ESNS performance at Vera Club in Groningen (translation from German) https://www1.wdr.de/…/bands/ueber-the-blinders-100.html
“When a festival as big as ESNS takes place in one single city, you constantly rush from one concert hall to the other to be able to see all the interesting acts. In many cases, you have to queue and you miss half of the performance trying to either get into the venue or to leave it. Besides the acts that we managed to see without interruptions, we would like to name 5 bands whose fragmented performances were of pure class. They are: The Blinders, Drahla, Ocean Wisdom, FEET and Whispering Sons. Also, a special mention goes to The Slow Readers Club, a band sharing the same label with The Blinders. We have seen maybe 6 minutes of their show but the riff and the chorus to ‘You Opened Up My Heart’ was the highlight of Eurosonic for us” – Bart Somers for IndieStyle (translation from Belgian) https://www.indiestyle.be/live/vijf-hoogtepunten-van-esns-2019
“After the Shellac performance, The Smaller Gallery is filling up fast for the next act. The Blinders enter the stage accompanied by the soundtrack from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and a great dosage of smoke. Their set is composed of solid punk rock and indie music that is delivered with a lot of energy. As usual, the singer/guitarist Thomas, wears face paint that reminds us of black metal bands. Although we have seen The Blinders before (at ESNS), we truly enjoyed their gig.” – Frank De Jong & Marco Vlot at Grauzone Festival for 3VOOR12 (multimedia platform of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting VPRO for alternative and indie music) https://3voor12.vpro.nl/lokaal/den-haag/artikelen/overzicht/2019/februari/Grauzone-2019.html (translation from Dutch)
TOUR: Concerts, festival appearances and other gigs are slowly filling up the band’ schedule. 2019 seems like a very busy year as it will take them to mainland Europe and all over the UK again. To make it easy for you to keep an eye on all booked events, we decided to create a calendar! It is easy and very efficient. Of course, we will be updating the blog as the shows happen so each section you see below, will be extended. Each entry in the calendar contains full description for the event, address, links and other useful information. If the stage times or a place has not been fully confirmed yet, it is market as TBA (to be announced). The calendar will also be updated as more details are revealed.
Before the event, the band recorded a short video explaining why they support this noble cause:
Avalanche Xmas Party – now completed
Avalanche Xmas Party ft very special guests poster
Gig number 2 took place on 8th of December. For several reasons, it was one of the most unusual concerts that The Blinders played. First of all, it was organized by the headliner – The Avalanche Party and it was their personal, open to the public, Christmas Party. Secondly, the show was free entry, first come – first serve basis. Thirdly – it took place in the picturesque North Yorkshire sea village of Staithes that has a strong connection to the famous captain, James Cook. Avalanche Party and The Blinders were joined by Strange Bones and The Black Lagoons and the party started at 8:30 pm sharp. There were no reservations, tickets available only at the door and yet the place was packed tight. The venue, Captain Cook Inn, is very small and has about 80 people capacity and all of the tickets were sold out in just two days. What was happening you may ask? Well, according to reports, the show was absolutely stunning. The mosh pit was everywhere, shirts were removed quite early on and it was a blissfully sweaty affair, with singers being carried in the air by the crowd, gas masks were worn and the after party was a good old rock and roll history in the making. During the Blinder’s set, Johnny Dream took a day off and Thomas Haywood stepped in (the make up was gone!). The band performed their standards (“Brutus”, “Brave New World”, “Gotta Get Through” and “ICB Blues”) and two new ones “Lunatic with a gun” and ” Whiter”. Many fans are now calling for a full tour to be organized and we think this is a brilliant idea. Every venue would be sold out – this is not a marketing drill or “fake it till you make it” technique. This is a true fact. Each of those bands play a fantastic set, they also have their dedicated audiences, they play music that fits together and they never tourd the UK in this line up before. Since we posted information about this gig on our blog, at least 20 people contacted us asking if there will be future shows. Ladies and gents in the management for each of those killer acts – can we ask for at least several shows next year? Dear Santa, we have been very good this year!
The Blinders at Social in Doncaster – now completed
Number three show in the Blinders’ December calendar was their annual pilgrimage to their place of origin, aka Doncaster. The band played their beloved Social Club on 19th of December in their home town and Calva Louise acted as their support. Tickets were available only in person from the venue and as you may correctly guessed, it was another sold out show for the band. The doors opened at 7:30, by 8:00, Calva Louise were on stage and The Blinders rocked the crowd at 9:00. This was a very special show with massive mosh pit (loads of girls in the front we are happy to report!) and two new songs. The first one, performed as a second during their set, was actually a brand new version of a song written by Thomas Haywood about 3 years ago and was titled “Wither”. You can listen to its very, very early version on Thomas’ personal Soundcloud account: https://soundcloud.com/thomas-haywood-141688445/wither
The second new song “Lunatic With A Gun” was played as the 10th song in the set. It was premiered for the first time nearly a month earlier at the charity gig in Manchester and confused a lot of people when it suddenly stopped. This time, the public was prepared so the band didn’t have to explained it was the end of the track! The band’s set was also significantly longer than usual: it contained 14 songs and one encore “Swine”. The show lasted over an hour and 10 minutes and the order of the songs was completely new – the fans loved it. Oh, and the war paint was back so Johnny Dream survived Thekla and the Last Battle of Bristol.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/socialdoncaster/
Venue address: Lazarus Court Bradford Row, Bradford Row, Doncaster DN1 3NF, England
Opening hours: 7:30-11:00pm (gig), after party till 4:00am
Tickets: £8 Pictures:
IN THE FLESH! Glasgow at SWG3 Festival – now completed
Baby Strange presents In The Fresh – poster for Glasgow show
Poster number 2
Additional poster with time schedules
Fourth event booked for 22 of December was the IN THE FLESH! mini festival in Glasgow. It was a large show with two different venues inside the massive SWG3 Studios and Warehouse. The doors opened exactly at 3 pm and the first band to perform on Stage 1 was the The Vanities (they played between 4:00 and 4:30). They were followed by Walt Disco (5:00-5:30), then Rascalton (6:00-6:30) with Neon Waltz, headlining from 7:00 till 7:45. The Stage 2 was the main stage and their programme was longer and more varied. CRYSTAL started at 4:30 till 5:00 pm, followed by Voodoos, (5:30-6:00), LUCIA (6:30-7:00), then The Blinders took the stage for a full 45 minute set (8:00-8:45) and the evening was finished by an excellent performance from BABY STRANGE. Curfew for the show was 10:00 pm. Tickets were priced at £15 and you needed to be +14 to enter.
What can we say about the show? It was another Christmas party and it went very well. Less than 100 tickets remained at the doors and the venue was filled tightly. The band gave a full performance, the set list was almost identical to the one from Doncaster with the exception of “Wither” that was replaced by “Swine”. The Blinders had a fantastic time and so did the audience who praised the trio’s energetic performance and technical abilities.
Kendal Calling New Year’s Eve, Manchester – now completed If you didn’t know where to go to celebrate the NYE, but you wanted to see the band, you had the chance to catch them twice in one night in their (adopted) hometown of Manchester. And it was not just any other regular night – it was the New Years’s Eve! The first opportunity to see The Blinders on stage was at Kendal Calling New Year’s Party. Andy Smith and his team organized a special show to celebrate not only the beginning of 2019, but also to thank all those who attended the festival in the summer.
Kendall Calling New Years’ Eve Extravaganza!
Victoria Warehouse is a large venue and several hundred people partied hard to the music of Everything Everything, Tom Greenan, Felix Hagan and The Family, and two large DJ sets from The Hacienda legend Dave Haslam and Howling Rhythm. Doors were opened at 6:30 pm, the show started exactly at 7 pm and finished around 2 am. This was one of the rare occasions to see Dave Haslam returning to the DJ booth and re-creating a true Hacienda Rave party. As you can imagine, this line up managed to attract quite a crowd. The Blinders played as a second act of the evening, right after the truly enjoyable set by Felix Hagan and The Family. Their set was 30 minute long between 20:00 and 20:30 pm. As usual, they started off with “Gotta Get Through” that merged into “Brace New World”. A strong and aggressive beginning allowed the public to jump and dance and it was good to see the Blinders on a full scale, stadium-like stage. “Where no man comes” and “ICT Blues” followed and the set was closed with “Brutus”.
Night People New Year’s Party, Manchester – now completed After finishing their duties at Kendal Calling, The Blinders made their way to Night People to play a second show of the evening. They have been the mysterious headliner advertised on the posters, probably the worst kept secret in the entire Kingdom of Mancunia as everyone knew who that headliner was. Just look at the posters below (by the way, the event has amassed 4 different promotional graphics, which is quite something) and count the question marks. Very clever, isn’t it? The New Year’s Party at Night People was in fact a small festival. 8 bands were booked to play, but sadly at the last minute, Naked Six had to cancel due to illness. The doors were opened at 7:30 and the first band to play was The Big Peach (20:45-21:15). The quintet describes themselves as “5 rock n roll outlaws making Manchester their own 1960’s wild west frontier – they sound quite interesting so please give them a spin. Carnival Club were next with their slot lasting 30 minutes (21:30-22:00). Nicknamed as “Patron Saints of Rock and Roll”, the quartet has made quite an impressions on the locals and will play a large tour in 2019. Things started getting really interesting when the third band appeared on stage. SECS were advertised as Manchester’s first super group and all we knew before the show was, it was formed by members of The Blinders, Calva Louise and Strange Bones. Once SECS started playing exactly at 22:20 (a bit fashionably late), the mystery of who exactly was in the band was revealed. Jess Eastwood of Calva Louise took the role of main vocalist and guitarist, \ of Strange Bones sang backing vocals and played lead guitar and Matty Neale of The Blinders filled his usual post as a drummer. A real surprise was to see The Blinders’ frontman, Thomas Haywood joining them on stage as a…bassist! SECS set was brilliant (but of course), energetic and the group had so much fun playing together. They played several songs including “Easy”, “I Know” and “Hang on”. We hope that they will be playing more often but this seems rather unlikely as this year will be very busy for their main bands. At 23:00 pm, The Blinders took to the stage. While playing with SECS, Thomas wore a white shirt, he was all smiles and seems relaxed. When he returned to the stage as Johnny Dream, his face was very focused, the warpaint back on. Yet during the gig, and when the sweat started washing the make up away, his smile returned, he greeted and saluted the crowd and exchanged short laughs with Charlie and Matty. It was good to see them enjoying playing for their friends and families – a much different call than when they are on tour in unfamiliar places. They played “Gotta Get Through”, “L’Etat C’est Moi”, “Hate Song”, “ICB Blues”, “Et Tu/BerlinWall/Brutus”, “Brave New World”, “Rat in a Cage”, “Ramona Flowers”, “Wither” and “Swine”, although not in that particular order 🙂 The set finished several minutes before midnight and it was the time for John Hall to do the honours and count down to announce the new year. Saytr Play, one of our discoveries in 2018, played next, the first band to rock 2019. They started with “Don’t Go East”, with “VCR”, “To Be The One”, “L.I.F.E.”, “Mother’s Love”, “Fragile”, “Band Average” and “Everyday Since” forming the rest of their set. After 1:00 am, alternative duo (and first cousins) Sly Antics appeared to entertain the public with quite an impressive concert consisting of “Motion”, “Bin Juice”, “B-Side”, “Roads”, “Choose Your Words”, “Fresh Bites”, “Reality”, “Lights Go Down” and “Sunday Fear”. Please take a closer look at them if you have a chance, those guys are really something else! Replacing Naked Six, Octoptus finished the live music for the evening with their set nearly at 02:45am. The party went on til 6 am with several DJ sets, but that’s a different story!
First TV performance and interview at Soccer AM (Sky1), London – now complete The new year started like a Hitchcock’s thriller – first the earthquake and then the tension slowly started rising up. On January 2nd, The Blinders announced that they would appear on national television for the first time in their career! They have been invited for an interview and performance to the popular Saturday morning program, Soccer AM on 5th of January! Just moments after the news appeared on the official social media channels, the Columbia I-net went into some soft of an overdrive. Fans bombarded the band with questions, exclamation marks and congratulations.
this Saturday we go live on @SoccerAM for the first time ever on the small screen, what a delight.
Just look at the comments posted online – the Blinders have the most loyal fans
The Blinders spent entire day on Friday recording the program alongside Liam Ridgewell (defender and the captain of Major League Soccer club Portland Timbers) and Ceallach Spellman (actor and TV presenter). They performed “Brave New World” live in the studio, answered a lot of questions (favourite football teams, how it felt to play two gigs on New Years Eve, what is Columbia and who is Johnny Dream) and even had a chance to shoot penalties. Thomas and Charlie sadly missed, but Matty showed the world that he is not only a skilled drummer, but can kick the ball like a pro. He also sent kisses left and right after scoring a goal. The show was broadcast on Sky1 on Saturday exactly at 10:00 am and finished at 11:30.
The performance can be seen on Soccer AM Facebook page:
After the videos and performances were uploaded online, the band basically went viral. The video to Brave New World has been viewed nearly 30.000 times in less than 12 hours. We have been monitoring the rising statistics for the entire day and Malicia did a nice post to sum it all up. But of course the numbers keep on growing and will continue to grow so please hang tight, it is going to be a nice ride! So far we managed to count: 30.000 views for their performance on Facebook, 23.000 on Twitter, Matty’s goal scored nearly 30.000 views as well. Nearly 1000 likes, over 700 comments across the band’s social channels…Amazing!
ESNS Eurosonic Noorderslag, The Netherlands – now complete Eurosonic Noorderslag (abbreviated ESNS) is one of the biggest music conference in Europe. It is an equivalent of South by South West and each year thousands of people travel to the city of Groningen to participate. There are hundreds of concerts in 47 different venues, meetings, talks and panels regarding every part of the music industry – from mech and touring to PR, legal advice and international recording deals. Every genre (from metal to folk music) was represented and everybody could find something that would make them tap their feet or dance. ESNS 2019 took place on 16th-19th January and it was The Blinders’ first international festival! More than 300 acts were confirmed, from every European county. The Blinders joined Boy Azooga, Fontaines D.C., Bülow, Pip Blom and many other established acts. Plus, the festival added them to their official Spotify list! You could say that the first trip to mainland Europe was a success even before the band landed in the Netherlands!
When The Blinders were booked to play at ESNS in the summer last year, the news of their appearance at the festival caused a huge anticipation among media and gig goers. The demand to see them live grew even further after the word of their sold out Columbia tour traveled abroad. The concert at VERA Club (one of the biggest venues in Groningen) took place on Thursday 17th of January between 23:45 and 00:30 CET. The band performed alongside Any Other (Italy), Fontaines D.C. (Ireland) and Scúru Fitchádu (Portugal) to fully packed venue. Tickets to the show were sold out weeks in advance and at least 100 people were left standing outside the club and sadly could not get in! We were lucky that riots have not started in the streets! The trio played their entire 50 minute set that English fans already know from their autumn tour, but the European fans were mesmerized! They started with “Gotta Get Through”, followed with “Brave New World”, “Free the Slaves”, “ICB Blues”, “Where No Man Comes” and of course they closed their set with the murderous marathon of “Brutus”, “Et Tu” and “Berlin Wall”. The audience gave them a long ovation after they left the stage. It will be a night the band and the public will never forget! We have to mention one thing – for the first time we had a chance to see the entire band playing in the matching clothing. Thomas Haywood took on his usual persona of Johnny Dream (black trousers and black bohemian loose shirt plus warpaint), but Charlie and Matty also wore only black. Charlie is usually dressed in dark suit with white shirt underneath (resembling Nick Cave) but this time wore only black silky shirt and dark trousers. Matty wore a dark short sleeve shirt and elegant dark trousers as well, instead of his preferred attire composed of a grey tee and a pair of jeans. One journalist jokingly described them as Men in Black!
At ESNS, The Blinders were recorded by several radio stations. The first one to broadcast their song from the conference was BBC Radio 1 with Huw Stephens. On 20th of January 2018 in his show, he played “Brave New World” giving the band a splendid review. You may notice that the song was performed in a new style! Thomas perfected his singing technique and his voice sounds much stronger and more mature.
The Blinders were mentioned on popular ESNS podcast called SHARQ TALK! The presenters talked about not hearing about The Blinders before their show at Vera. However, they rated their performance as a good, very energetic show. They were not really convinced by the warpaint and thought the bassist (Charlie) looked a bit lost in thoughts, but paid many complements to their technical skills and abilities to make cool music. They also rated The Blinders as ready for the big European festivals such as Lowlands and Pinkpop. Again, massive interest of press and media was observed with presenters saying that more than 1200 people showed up to see the gig: inside the club (capacity 450) and outside! There were also 8 photographers and a cameraman. Thank you to Joep Coolen and Anke van der Voorn for their help with translation. The Blinders are mentioned exactly at 35:40 minute mark.
Independent Venue Week – Trades Club, Hebden Bridge – now complete Trades Club in Hebden Bridge is one of the most popular venues in Yorkshire that hosted many international and national superstars. The Blinders have played there before and each time, their gigs were sold out. On 31st of January, the band (along with their support act, The C33’s) arrived to The Trades Club to play for the Independent Venue Week, a week long celebration of music in support of those who run the grass root venues in the UK. As usual, the tickets to the gig were gone long time in advance (sometime at the beginning of December!) and many people frantically looked for any spares online. Those who purchased their passes earlier, gained entry to the venue at 4 pm. This allowed them to see a very interesting photo exhibition entitled “Cold War Steve” before anybody else. The rest of gig goers had to wait until 8 pm when the downstairs bar and a concert hall were finally made available to the public. By 8:30 pm, the place was tightly packed and the C’33’s entered the stage to showcase their talents. We have to say that the young band did fantastically well. Their 45 minute set was very pleasant to our ears, the songs were catchy (and some of them super radio-friendly!), they also had a great deal of energy and nice stage presence. We are giving them a year or two and the indie scene will have another very strong rock group! When it comes to the headliner, we think that The Blinders are incapable of playing a bad gig, as again, they were perfect! Matty and Charlie showed their incredible technical skills, Thomas sang like his life depended on it (and at one point ended singing surrounded by crowd), and the mosh pit was crazy! The concert was dedicated to the memory of Zoran, a close friend of the group who passed away just few weeks before the show at the age of 50. One of the speakers was decorated with Slovenian flag with words “Zoran, Keep The Faith” as a tribute to him. The band also prepared a special poster that was sold at the merch stand and all money collected were later given to Zoran’s family. The show started off with “Gotta Get Through” and then came the first surprise of the evening, a brand new version of “Wither” which may be the new fan-favourite song. So far “Wither” was only available in an acoustic version on Thomas Haywood’s personal Soundcloud account, but it sounds so much better with bass, an electric guitar and a powerful drum solos. “L’Etat C’est Moi” and “Brave New World” followed with “Hate Song”, “Ballad of Winston Smith” and “ICB Blues” filling the middle part of the gig. “Where No Man Comes” opened the second part and there was another surprise awaiting! Instead of the expected “Free The Slaves”, The Blinders pulled a blinder and played a brand new song, never heard before entitled “Fantasies”. Along with recently debuted “Lunatic With a Gun”, “Fantasies” are two brand new compositions that probably could end up on The Blinders’ second album which the group is very eager to record. The ending of the gig was very emotional and powerful with “Ramona Flowers”, “Rat In a Cage” and “Et Tu”, “Brutus” and “Berlin Wall” being played. The performance ended just before 11:00 pm. A small meeting with fans was also organized before the club was closed for the night.
Independent Venue Week – Trade Club poster
Independent Venue Week 2019 at the Trades Club
Power and Control – special poster prepared for the show
Grauzone Festival, The Hague, the Netherlands – now complete February took the Blinders over to the mainland Europe again as they performed on a popular festival in the Netherlands. GRAUZONE took place on 9th of February in The Hague and the line up included Blixa Bargeld of Einstürzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Pink Turns Blue, The Messthetics (Fugazi members), The Cosmic Dead, Nik Void, Sink Ya Teeth and an exclusive exhibition featuring the works of Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE. Grauzone is one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals of music and counter culture in The Netherlands.
Translation: “English band, The Blinders, hailed by their domestic press and the BBC as ‘savers of the rock ‘n roll’ (together with Idles and Shame) comes exclusively to The Hague with their frenzied, obsessive live show, a madness-bordering experience that you must see. The band already plays in England to sold-out halls and big festivals and their debut album Columbia has been called ‘album of the year’ by many”. Now this is what we call a love letter to the band!
The Blinders played Kleine Zaal (The Smaller Gallery) at the Paard, some 300 meters from BillyTown (exhibition space). Their concert was set for 23:20 – 00:20 CET, between German punk rock legends, Pinks Turns Blue and The Cosmic Dead. It has been described as one of the best shows of Grauzone Festival. The Blinders played to a full, packed room despite being an unknown band in the Netherlands. Their show at ESNS received such positive reviews that the Grauzone festival organizers knew there would be a huge interest in the band. They were forced to put an official warning on their programme to let the public know to come to the venue earlier to secure a place! Fantastic achievement for a second show abroad (and their first ever in The Hague). There are no doubts – the band is on their way to establish themselves as a major player on the international rock scene! The Blinders started off with full Columbia introduction that British fans heard before each show on their Autumn tour. Dystopian propaganda talk by Patrick T. Davies mixed with “Power of Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” was greeted by cheers from the audience. When the intro was done, “Gotta Get Through” sent the Dutch public jumping and head banging. Despite the set list being neatly displayed on the walls and the stage floor, the band didn’t pay any attention to it. “Wither” came second (with changed lines and shortened second chorus) and then “L’Etat C’est Moi”, “Brave New World” and “Hate Song”. It was only then that Thomas greeted the crowd with words “Good evening! We are the Blinders from…United Kingdom!” which brought a sew short laughs (probably from UK fans who recognized that he nearly said “from Doncaster”) and massive approval from the local gig goers. “Where no man comes” followed by “Free The Slave” and both sounded a bit different again. Thomas sang in a new, more toned down way where his voice was more natural and deep. “Free the Slaves” was also cut short a bit and “ICB Blues” had a longer intro allowing Matty and Charlie to jam on stage! “Swine” with its rhythmic chorus (there is no hope…) had the audience singing along and Thomas balancing on the edge of stage, almost like he thought of jumping into the crowd before he changed his mind. “Ramona Flowers” and “Rat In a Cage” had extended parts with Matty and Charlie again going into some sort of improvised loops and Thomas half whispering-half howling into the microphone. The ending was a surprise to long standing fans as a brand new intro have been introduced before “Et Tu”. It was long, almost over a minute and sounded a bit like some sort of alarm going off. It’s quite tricky to describe but we hope fans will be able to hear in on tour in April – it was a very interesting experiment! Another new element was a part of a poem or a lyrics just before “Martyrs enters the area” part. Thomas recited “Oh are we such fools to pretend that we do not fear the end” before returning to a well known routine. The monologue between “Brutus” and “Berlin Wall” (“the shadows filling Big Brother’s hall”) gave the technical crew a migraine headache when Haywood finally decided to leave the stage and mingle with the public. The guitar cable proved to be too short for a longer walk and the technicians threw themselves to the rescue before the loudspeakers stockpiled on top of each other were thrown onto the ground! Thomas finished the set among the crowd and Matty was forced to sing all by himself. As the band disappeared into the darkness, they were seen off by applause and long cheers.
After the show, fans were thrilled and vowed to see The Blinders again. Paard Club spoke to several of them and here is an example of an enthusiastic review:
“Gig goer, Maria Kleopatra said: ‘The Blinders were the coolest band I have seen today. Great music and a very enjoyable show. This is a music scene that really appeals to my taste. I feel at home here. It is dark and dark is fun!'”
Pictures: Grauzone Festival was super kind to The Blinders. They have been photographed by fans and professionals and we even there is even a real polaroid picture taken by the wonderful Pim Schrier! You can follow him at: https://www.instagram.com/pimschrier/
Thomas Haywood solo performance (acoustic show) – now complete The Blinders are preparing to hit the US in less than a month, but that doesn’t mean they have stopped spoiling their beloved fans. Thomas Haywood, the lead singer of the band, gave a very special acoustic performance on Sunday, 24th of February at The Burton Arms in Manchester. The recently renovated pub is located right next to the Band on The Wall in the Northern Quarter part of Manchester. It was closed down for many years until the owners of The Night People have taken it under their wings with intention of turning the derelict building into a cozy bar and a small hotel. It seems to be working very well as the place has already earned good reputation among the pub goers. Thomas Haywood’s acoustic performance was the first concert in a series of intimate shows that are going to showcase the best musicians from Mancunian scene. The gig was kept a secret until the last moment – it was only announced 2 days before the show, yet on Sunday evening, the entire place was packed and many visitors sadly had to listen to the performance standing outside. Thomas started his set with one of his favourite songs – Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man”. The Blinders’ followers can sometimes hear him play it as a warm up before shows or during the social gatherings, and we have to agree, it was the perfect opener. The set was divined into two parts: the first contained a mixture of The Blinders’ songs very well known from their debut album “Columbia” and the other was filled by covers and original material. We had a pleasure of hearing “Brave New World”, “Rat in a Cage”, “ICB Blues”, “Ballad of Winston Smith” and “Ramona Flowers” in their stripped, bare versions. Without the electric bas and drums, the songs sounded completely different but you could still appreciate the excellent song writing and their complexity. The covers included Townes Van Zandt “Waiting Around to Die” and The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “(David Bowie I Love You) Since I was Six” that was skilfully merged with an original song entitled “Visions of Anais (Across the Lake)”. Thomas’ original compositions drew the most attention and for a very good reason – they were bloody brilliant. He sang “Grave of the King” that was written during his stay in Paris in May 2018 after visiting the tomb of Jim Morrison and “Gift of Gold” that can be found on Haywood’s personal Soundcloud page. The Blinders’ fans were also incredibly happy to finally hear “Acid Bath”, the first ever song written for the band circa 2015, way before their first EP “Hidden Horror Dance” that was released in 2016. We now know that the full title of the song is “Acid Bath (Princess of the Dark)” and we absolutely love it. The show ended with Thomas being all smiles and giggles, waving to friends and fans, before disappearing in the Beer garden for a well deserved drink.
South By South West (SXSW) – now complete South By South West is the biggest music event in the world. It brings over 100.000 visitors to Austin in Texas and being invited is considered the biggest honour. The Blinders were chosen to participate and it only shows how good the band truly is. The band played four shows over a week they spent in America and we can honestly tell you that they made a big, big impression on the Land of the free.
The news that The Blinders will play in Austin traveled faster than the speed of light. Within couple of days, several local BBC chapters informed their listeners about the happy news . You can listen to some of them below, they are very enthusiastic!
BBC Manchester (Natalie-Eve Williams & Michelle L Hussey on 16.02.2019 and 09.02.2019)
BBC Sheffield (Christian Carlisle on 16.02.2019)
A few great mentions for the band appeared on the radio during their stay at SXSW as well:
BBC Manchester (Natalie-Eve Williams & Michelle L Hussey on 16.03.2019)
BBC Sheffield (Christian Carlisle on 16.03.2019)
BBC Introducing Radio 1 (Huw Stephens on 17.03.2019)
SXSW Showcase number 1: Champions Restaurant & Sports Bar
The Blinders made their SXSW debut at a small showcase at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel. This 5 star hotel is located in Downtown Austin, in prestigious location, just across the street from Austin Convention Center, and a short distance from 6th Street, University of Texas and the State Capitol! Their showcase took place on 12th of March at 7pm local time at Champions Restaurant & Sports Bar. It was 12:00 am on 13th of March GMT in London. The show was finished by 11:30 pm. It has to be said: this place is truly impressive with 23 large screens showing the best sporting events from all over the world. A huge stage is perfect for performances and the venue can accommodate up to 200 visitors. They are known for putting up acoustic nights that are very popular with tourists and local patrons.
As for the bands’ first American concert ever, it was a very good show. The bar was not fully packed but the crowd was very decent and what’s more important, everybody enjoyed it! Thomas wore a black coat and a pair of sunglasses and looked really cool! The show was also stripped back, Matty had no drum set, but those who have seen him previously know that if you give this man a tambourine, you will have a fully working rhythm section! Charlie played an electric bass, but it seemed to be a bit silent than usual. It wasn’t their usual in-your-face, full make-up, noisy affair, but rather a toned down, half electric, half acoustic performance. It reminded us of in-store visits The Blinders did last year before their Columbia tour. The band played for 40 minutes and they performed nearly an entire album. The visitors described it as “magical” and it truly was a spectacular set.
The second show the Blinders played at the conference was for the mighty BBC 6 Music and Steve Lamacq officially introduced the band to an American audience. The band had to wake up very early to do an interview with Steve before their evening gig and they recorded several acoustic tracks for him as well including “Brave New World”, “Rat In a Cage” and “Hate Song”.
You can listen to the interview (shared with Alex Edwards, the manager of Pip Blom plus the evening performance of “Rat In a Cage” at 1:16:52 mark. It was broadcast in the UK on 15th of March 2019: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00036vv
We all know that Steve Lamacq is a big, big fan of the Blinders and it wasn’t a surprise that he asked them to headline his show at Latitude 30, a very well known bar located in downtown Austin. The entire showcase was held under the banner of “British Music Embassy” for BBC6 Music in association with AIM. The performance started at 8:00 pm on 14th of March and ended at 2:00 am on 15th of March CST (Austin, Travis County, TX is located in Central Time Zone). It was between 12:00 am and 7 am on 15th of March GMT time (London).
The Blinders’ gig took place from 06:00 am till 07:00 am UK time.
The Blinders entered the stage as the last band of the evening, after the Mercury prize nominated artist, Novelist. It was a huge accomplishments and the public was ecstatic to see the Doncaster trio. Their show lasted full 50 minutes and we could hear “Wither”, “Free The Slaves”, “Brave New World”, “L’Etat C’est Moi”, “Gotta Get Through” and of course the in(famous) “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall” at the end. The band was described as “ferocious” and “in top form” by audience members. Steve was so pleased with them that he put them on the commercial advertising his entire stay at SXSW! It has been played every day on British radio multiple times. Do you know what he said about the performance? “A sound you can truly believe in.” Well said, Steve, well said!
SXSW Showcase number 3: End of Trail at Valhalla Tavern
The Blinders didn’t have much time to rest at all. Their third show was at Valhalla Tavern on 15th of March 2018 (capacity of 400), a popular bar and live music venue located in Austin’s famed Red River District. The bar is pretty famous for its collection of vintage gaming devices such as pinballs, pool, shuffleboard, skeeball, foosball and air hockey. The stage wascurated by Kelly Munro and his wonderful team from End of Trail Creative record label.
The show started at 7:00 pm on 15th of March and ended at 2:00 am on 16th of March CST.
In the UK, it started at 01:00 am on 16th of March and finished around 8 am GMT time (London).
The Blinders’ performance took place from 05:00 am till 06:00 am UK time.
SXSW profile for The Blinders listing all booked events
Joined on the bill with their best friends, Avalanche Party and Rascalton, the Blinders played one of their best shows at SXSW despite numerous technical issues. It was again described as wild, captivating and unreal. Their set, again was clocked at 50 minutes and contained “Gotta Get Through”, “L’Etat C’Est Moi”, “Brave New World”, “Wither”, “Free the Slaves”, “I Can’t Breathe Blues”, “Swine”, “Hate Song”, “Rat In A Cage” and “Brutus/Et Tu/Berlin Wall”.
We have teamed up with our special correspondent Lori Starke (chief photographer and reviewer at Pictures in a Row) who came up with this brilliant, world exclusive review!
“‘What REALLY knocked your socks off this week?’ was the question posed by my friend who sat next to me between sets at what was to be my last venue of SXSW 2019. ‘The Blinders! They were mad! The bass player threw his bass out into the crowd at the end!’ He said:’Do you want to see them again? They are playing a few doors down’. So I abandoned the nights’ plan and we ran down the road to the other venue! Before going to SXSW this year, I had a vague plan to see the Blinders. They were recommended to me by a friend in London, and I had checked them out on YouTube. I thought they looked interesting. I wasn’t sure if the makeup thing was a shtick, a gimmick, or what! For me, a bands’ live show makes or breaks them. I saw them for the first time at Valhalla on Friday, 15 March. I came out of that show exclaiming ‘Holy Hounds of Hell! What did I just witness?!!’ The moshpit was mad, but not the kind that are just a bunch of assholes getting their aggression out. These people were loving the band. Avalanche Party had played immediately prior at Valhalla, and they hung around to lend support, technically and morally, to the Blinders during the gig. Jordan was handing guitars and helping troubleshoot technical problems. Thomas, the singer, was focused and theatrical, without seeming fake or phony. He looks dramatic, with black smears around his eyes and down both sides of his face. He delivers his songs with intensity. He draws us in, almost Doorsian, shaman-like. The music to me also evokes a Doorsian, dystopian vibe. Charlie on bass has read the script and holds his bass up like he is pointing a machine gun at times. It doesn’t sound as dramatic as it looks when he does it, and he also delivers a focused performance. Matty, on drums, is a beast. He pounds the drums with all he is worth, and does not quit, whether being yelled out, or if the lights go out. The Friday venue was left in shambles. During the final song, “Brutus,” Thomas climbed on a speaker stack and his mic and all of the lights went off. It took some time to get a workaround, but we remained invested as an audience while we awaited the rest of the song. My theory about the mishap is that he pulled a plug out while climbing. They finished the song, the crowd pushed forward, thrashed around, went mad, and the aforementioned bass throwing happened. We wandered out onto the streets of Austin, stunned”.
Thank you so much Lori! What a description, we cannot add anything more to it.
SXSW Showcase number 4: Modern Sky gig at Beerland
The fourth and the last confirmed event for the Blinders at the SXSW took place at a popular rock place called Beerland on 16th of March. It was again located in the Red River neighbourhood, very close to super popular nightclub named Elysium. The pub opened in 2011 and hosted rock showcases for SXSW since 2015. Not a big place (capacity of 200) but it has great reviews and is considered one of the “coolest” venues to visit at the conference. There is a pool table, a life size bust of Elvis and a large patio. The Blinders performed there alongside Japanese rock group DYGL, their label-mates SPINN, The Mystery Lights (all the way from NYC) and an electro pop duo from Australia, GreenWave Beth among others. The entry to the club was strictly +21. It was the last showcase for The Blinders’ record label, Modern Sky UK at the conference.
Modern Sky showcase poster
The show started at 7:00 pm on 16th of March and ended at 2:00 am on 17th of March CST.
In the UK, it started at 12:00 am on 17th of March and finished at around 7 am GMT time (London).
The Blinders’ performance took place from 05:00 am till 06:00 am UK time.
Again we spoke to Lori, who came to witness another performance by The Blinders. Lori said that the band played exactly the same set as the night before. They started with “Gotta Get Through”, “L’Etat C’Est Moi”, “Brave New World”, “Wither”, “Free the Slaves”, “I Can’t Breathe Blues”, “Swine”, “Hate Song”, “Rat In A Cage” and finished with “Brutus”. She added: “The Blinders’ last show at Beerland was much more controlled. One of their songs, ‘Brave New World’ was dedicated to Avalanche Party, who were there giving guitar tech and moral support again. I was ready at the end of the show to video the bass throwing. But there was no bass throwing this time. Still a great and engaging show, but more controlled, not as mad. The crowd was invested, but not mental like the previous night. There were no major mishaps. to report”.
Luckily there was no technical problems this time and the band finished their first American visit on a high note. Then they had a few days of rest, had some fun and off they went back to our time zones again!
The Blinders at La Belle Angele, Edinburgh – now complete After two years of not visiting Edinburgh, The Blinders finally returned to the capitol of Scotland on 20th of March to play at beautiful venue called La Belle Angele. The show (announced just a week and a half before it actually happened!) was a sold out even in association with Sailor Jerry (Scottish producer of the finest spiced rum there is, in case you didn’t know). Local fans haven’t disappointed and the venue was full to the last space. The show started at 8:00 pm with a short set from the support act, Fabric Bear. The Blinders were on stage by 9:30 pm and their set was very similar to those played at SXSW. But nobody was complaining! They started with the Columbia into, and “Gotta Get Through”. We heard “L’Etat C’Est Moi”, “Free The Slaves”, “ICB Blues”, “Hate Song”, “Rat in a Cage”, “Brave New World” and “Where No Man Comes”. “Ramona Flowers” and “Swine” made the well received come back to the set list instead of “Whither” and the new song that appeared on several occasions – “Lunatic With a Gun” was also dropped. The show went as smoothly as possible with people having the best of times. The band promised to return again to play Glasgow on 28th of April and their statement was greeted with huge cheers from the crowd.
ORBIT – The Blinders DJ set – now complete Three days after invading Scotland, The Blinders returned to their adopted home of Manchester to try something that they have never done before – a club night!
They did DJ sets before (Ruby Lounge in Manchester in September 2018), but this was a whole new affair. Not only the band played a specifically prepared set list (chosen by them from propositions send in by bands and fans) but they also hosted two concerts: the Scuttlers and Document. It is worth mentioning that Document debuted as a band that night and one of their member is The Blinders’ guitar technician and roadie, Max Grindle. Max is an excellent guitar and bass player and we can expect great things from them!
Orbit poster by Sam Crowston
So how did the club night go? It went swimmingly well. Again it was a sold out evening. Night People is the band’s venue of choice (they played there many a time) and they couldn’t chosen a better place. The doors opened at 11:00 pm. Document were the first on stage, followed by The Scuttlers and then The Blinders overtook the dance floor. We had a chance to hear some of the best new bands (Avalanche Party, Strange Bones, Afghan Sand Gang, The Pagans SOH among others) and some of the classics (Bob Dylan, Brian Johnston Massacre, The Doors). The party lasted until the sunlight and we still haven’t had enough. There are rumors that the club night may become a permanent event so keep your eyes open!
Thomas Haywood solo show for The Wild Launch Party at 33 Oldham Street The Wild is a new start-up fashion brand from Manchester started by Harley Luv Boon, the daughter of Mancunian music scene legend, Clint Boon. The Wild offers clothing that is 100% plastic free, inspired by rock and roll, the western style of living and 60’s and 70’s pop culture. With garments named after the iconic musicians such as Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Nicks and David Bowie, The Wild can dress you up for any occasion: from your local indie summer festival to the Albert Halls of London.
The Wild Launch Party poster
The official launch party took place at the popular 33 Oldham Street restaurant/music club in Northern Quarter in Manchester on 11th of April 2019. There was a a fashion show (collection presentation) and live music from Mt. Fuji Band, Thomas Haywood and Saytr Play. The DJ set were provided by the emerging quartet Sauce, and Joshua Elliott.
Thomas played a short acoustic set that offered a mixture of The Blinders songs (“Ramona Flowers”, “Rat In a Cage”) and his personal favourites from Bob Dylan to his original compositions. Saytr Play, being headliners, played a full set with “VCR”, “Something In The Distance”, “Everyday Since”, “Thought of Missing Out” and “Bang Average”. This was a very intimate event and not many photographs or videos are available online, but if we come across any, we will definitely share them with you.
April and May are simply massive for the Blinders! This is when their proper tour starts and they will be travelling to Germany to play in Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin! They also have a handful of domestic gigs announced as well.
April/May UK and European tour
The Ninth Wave are supporting The Blinders on tour!
On 13th of February, it was announced that Scottish trio, The Ninth Wave will be supporting the Blinders on their tour. The band consists of Haydn Park-Patterson, Millie Kidd and Lewis Tollan. They were formed in 2016 in Glasgow and so far released several singles (“Reformation”, “Human Touch/Nothing Certain”) and “Never Crave Attention” EP on Distiller Records. 2019 is a breakthrough year for them – so far, Ninth Wave played SXSW with The Blinders and had several concerts in NYC along with The Avalanche Party.
The tickets are selling very well, so please grab one before they are sold out. All venues are running low on passes including the German ones!
See Tickets Newsletter
The dates are so far:
01. Birmingham – 26th of April
02. Manchester – 27th of April
03. Glasgow – 28th of April
04. London – 30th of April
05. Cologne – 7th of May
06. Hamburg – 8th of May
07. Berlin – 9th of May
Posters: The band prepared something special for their fans. Each show has its own special poster that has been printed in limited amount (50 copies). You will be able to purchase them at merch stand at each venue at first come, first served basis. Catch them all, buy them all and you know, get some nice looking frames at Ikea 🙂 We are not sure what size they will come in, last time the band went a bit overboard and had the posters printed in A1 size! They were larger than life!
01. Birmingham – 26th of April – happening today! The band will start their tour in Birmingham. The doors are opening at 7:00 pm so come one, come all and you shall skip the queue. The Institute is a lovely large venue and the gig should be great fun. Local heroes, The Clause are opening and half of the Birmingham music scene will be there. Please join us for a lovely evening of mosh pit, sweat, blood and tears (of joy). You are cordially invited.
After the show, the band will make their way to their favourite club in Manchester, Night People to play a DJ set. This will be the official after party to thank their family members, friends and fans for their support. The Band will be DJ’ing from 11:00pm and the celebration will lasts till 4am on Sunday. Tickets are £2 if you have the pass to Manchester show at the Ritz, and £5 if you are only coming to the club. The tickets can be purchased only at the door so try to be the first in line. Just a good, friendly piece of advice.
Good news Glasgow! The Blinders will entertain you at the official after party! There will be a DJ set, starting an hour after the gig and tickets are only £3! Firewater is one of the most popular new clubs in Glasgow and they are known for their parties! If you want to dance to some ABBA tunes, this is a good idea to come along. The celebration will last until the dawn.
Between the UK tour and German dates, the Blinders managed to squeeze their first summer festival of the season. On May 5th in Newcastle, The Blinders will attend the Hit the North Festival. 120 bands will play on 12 stages across the town and more than 40.000 people are expected to attend. The Doncaster trio will be joining Jake Bugg, Tom Grennan and the “Wonder” and “Psycho” songstress, Lauren Aquilina on stage to rock you and me (and even the Salmons of Alaska).
After touring Germany, the band will come back to the British soil to entertain their fans in Leeds. Gold Sounds is a festival dedicated to shoegaze, punk, psychedelia, noise and grunge. It will be held at Brudenell Social Club over two days in May. The show will start on 11th of May at 2 pmand will close at 2 am on the 12th. Previous guests include Yuck, Cabbage, Cloud Nothings, The Wytches, Homeshake, Turnover, The Big Moon, Merchandise & Cheatahs. Appearing at Gold Sounds 2019, besides The Blinders, are Fat White Family, Her’s, Pip Blom, The Beths, Viagra Boys, The Nude Party, Hand Habits, Just Mustard, Weakened Friends, Working Men’s Club, TRIXIE WHITLEY, Vulgarians, bdrmm, FEHM, LUMER and LYLO. Tickets cost only £35 for a weekend pass – it is a bargain for 25 bands and two stages! It has been announced that The Blinders will headline Saturday 11th of May but extended scheduling times are not yet available. We will be notifying you as soon as we know!
Saturday, 25th of May, will see The Blinders performing in Warrington at the Neighbourhood Festival! The band will be joining George Ezra, Primal Scream (headliners), You Me at Six, Nothing But Thieves, Tom Grennan, The Hunnas, Embrace, Pale Waves and Gaz Coombes (of Supergrass) among others.
Day later, on Sunday the 26th of May, the Blinders will also participate in Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering Festival in Catton Hall in Derbyshire. The line up this year looks amazing. Suede are the headliners, Reef, Justin Sullivan of New Model Army and The Wildhearts are all making glorious come backs. The trio will be in great company so again, grab tickets while they are still here – the festival is rather small and it sold out last year. We are sure the history will repeat itself in 2019.
The Blinders will have a very busy summer festival season and they had to prepare a small poster with all their performances to keep track! Please use this poster not to miss their summer apperances!
Festival Season – the blinding schedule
First of June, will take The Blinders to London to play at the famous Camden Rocks Festival! This is a last moment appointment as The Blinders kindly decided to step in after Pretty Vicious had to pulled out due to serious circumstances. This is how to support your colleagues, festival organizers and fans! Squeezing another appearance into their stretched schedule is a herculean task, but the boys are always up to help others. They actually practice this “come together, we need each other” thing! If you are not aware, Camden rocks is an independent urban festival showcasing 400 of the best new and established bands in the UK’s beating heart of music and revelry, Camden Town, on 1st & 2nd June 2019. This year’s edition features: Frank Turner and alt-rock quartet Deaf Havana as headliners, Ash, The Wonder Stuff, The Pigeon Detectives, Rat Boy, New Model Army, Wheatus, Carl Barat, A, Skinny Lister, Ginger Wildheart, Ruts DC, The Professionals, Angelic Upstarts, The Glen Matlock Band featuring Early Slick, Milk Teeth, Raging Speedhorn, Sean McGowan, Random Hand, Glamour Of The Kill, Discharge, Eliza and The Bear, The Virginmarys, Buster Shuffle, Area 11, Sonic Boom Six, The Last Internationale, Our Hollow Our Home, [SPUNGE} and many, many more. Expect the finest acts in live music plus a showcasing of some of the brightest and freshest talent around, across indie, rock, punk and metal. Anything goes in Camden and on the weekend of Camden Rocks, this is amplified to ten.
Camden Rocks Festival poster
The Blinders will play the beautiful Dingwalls from 7:30 till 8:30.pm. Tickets are still available!
Another show announced was the mini festival with the Blossoms, The Coral, Cabbage and the Fuzzy Sun. Bad news, it is sold out again, this time in a record time of 30 minutes. Those lucky ones who were able to buy the tickets, will enjoy the great show at Stockport County FC stadium in Edgeley Park on Saturday 22nd of June 2019. You can see more info on Blossoms page: https://www.facebook.com/blossomsband/
Stockport County Football Club grounds poster
Fuzzy Sun – 5.10pm to 5.45pm
The Blinders – 6.10pm to 6.40pm
CABBAGE – 7.05pm to 7.35pm
The Coral – 8pm to 8.40pm
Blossoms – 9.10pm to 10.30pm
The After Party poster
After the show, The Blinders will play a DJ set in Manchester at their favourite venue, The Night People. The after party will start at 11:00 pm and will finish late (aka with the morning light probably!) Entry is free so it will be again, first come, first serve basis. The venue has 420 people capacity and we expect it to be very busy that night. Please bring some identifications with you as this is 18+ event and the security will be checking! They always do! PS. Expect some special guests! (nudge nudge, wink wink).
Two days later, on 24th of June, 3 bands (CABBAGE, The Blinders and Afghan Sand Gang) will reunite at Night & Day Cafe to play a fundraiser for their friend, Liam Smith, who sadly lost his lafe recently. The fundraiser supports Liam’s family and will cover the costs of funeral and medical expenses. The Blinders will play an acoustic set. The donations will be accepted throughout June and July or until the required amount is collected. Thank you for your support and please let’s take care of one another!
It has been kept as the biggest of secrets but the band is finally able to reveal that The Blinders will be playing the biggest festival in the world – Glastonbury! Replacing Sam Fender, who due to illness is no longer able to meet his obligation on Saturday, The Blinders were kind to agree to move their slot from different stage to LeftField to take his slot. They will be performing between 19:30 and 20:30 on 29th of June as the main support for KT Tunstall. Leftfield stage is known as the political and philosophical hub at Glasto, so it will be the perfect spot for them. Please expect a lot of energy, activism and war paint!
The Blinders are playing Glasto!
The festival prepared a special announcing for the change. Also the poster has been updated to include the Doncaster trio.
On 30th of June, the band will travel to Exeter to visit the beautiful Powderham Castle to participate in Sunday Sessions Exeter. The Blinders will join a fantastic line up including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Charlatans, Reverend And The Makers and The Loft Club among many other acts. Stage times are not available yet, but we will update this entry as they are announced.
On 4th of July 2019,The Blinders will join Miles Kane for one special gig at Concorde 2 in Brighton. Miles has been a big fan of the Doncaster trio for a very long time but the conflicting schedules didn’t allow them to play together until now. The show will start at 19:30 pm and is 14+ (although you’ll need to be accompanied by a responsible adult if you are under 16). As you can imagine, the tickets are gone and the show is sold out with long list of people on the reserve list. Fingers crossed, maybe it will convince Miles’s booking agent to cook up some additional dates! Fingers crossed!
July and they are off to Europe again! This summer, The Blinders will get a lot of stamps in their passports. Between 11th-14th of July, the band will travel to Eastern Europe, to Lithuania to play Devilstone Festival in Anykščiai. Devilstone is a standout open-air festival in the Baltics, Lithuania, remarkable for its broad and colourful presentation of rock, metal and alternative styles. At Devilstone, quality up-to-the-minute rock meets select extreme metal and unique electronica. Positively provocative, Devilstone is the space for musical and artistic discovery.
Since 2009, Devilstone has been taking place in midsummer, and has been growing ever since. In addition to its primary location at the Dainuva valley riverbank, the festival has taken steps into the town of Anykščiai. Devilstone concept is constantly evolving as new ideas come to life. Creativity is our driving force, resulting in unexpected solutions and ample spaces for self-expression. The Blinders will play along fellow Brits, TurboWolf, ShortParis (from Russia), SODOM (Germany), black metal heads WATAIN from Sweden, WolfHeart (Finland), King Buffallo (USA) and KO KO MO from France among others. Their show will take place on East Stage but the times have not yet been released.
The Blinders profile on the official website for the festival
Right after DevilStone, The Blinders are booked to play KLIKO Festival in The Netherlands! What do we need to know? Patronaat is one of the largest and most prestigious independent venues in the Netherlands. It is located in Zijlsingel part of Haarlem, near the city centre. The venue has been operating since 1984 and hosted international and national stars of the highest calibre. Once a year, in July, Patronaat is also the home of KLIKO Festival dedicated to grunge, psychedelic and garage rock. This year, the indoor festival will take place on 13th of July and at least 25 bands will play at three different stages from 19:00 pm till 06:00 am CET! It will be the loudest all nighter in the city and you don’t want to miss it. If you want some statistics (and we all love stats!!), the Main Hall is for 1000 visitors, second stage (called the Second Hall) is able to accommodate 350 guests and the smallest rock bar (named of course, The Third Hall) will be perfect for smaller gigs up to 120 people. Annually over 500 events are organized at Patronaat (at least 3 events per week) and 140.000 people are visiting its premises.
KLIKO Fest gave the Blinders this beautiful recommendation on their official website:
“The Blinders are the band that is on everyone’s lips these days thanks to their spectacular indie rock shows. The power trio from Manchester released their long-awaited debut album ‘Columbia’ last September and it brings together the best of 60’s garage rock, Beat poetry and Orwell’s dystopia. After their steamy show at ESNS 2019, they are ready to leave a lasting impression on Kliko”. Book your tickets now!
A very nice review for the band! Thank you KLIKO!
On Sunday, 14th of July, The Blinders will also play at the independent Valkhof Music Festival. The festival takes place in Valkhof Park in the city of Nijmegen (Gelderland province, close to the German boarder). Nijmegen is a very beautiful market town that hosts a number of popular musical events and conferences throughout summer. Valkhof Festival is quite famous in Europe and brings thousands of fans of electronic, industrial, goth and indie music to town. It has 4 stages situated all over the park (one is in the ruins of medieval castle!) and 120 bands from all over the world are usually playing. Except for The Blinders, the festival’s line up includes Sudan Archives, Fontaines D.C., BO NINGEN, black midi, Jonathan Bree and Whispering Sons among others. Detailed time schedule is not available yet but the entry to the festival is free.
Valkhof Festival Logo
The Festival posted a very nice description for the band that reads: “The distance between Nijmegen and Manchester is about 760 km by car. It is far, but we are confident that The Blinders will give a splendid performance at the festival! These “Mancunians” as they are known, have the music in their DNA and their debut album ‘Columbia’ is a perfect example. The album is as raw as Sex Pistols, stubborn as The Fall and melodic as The Verve. Don’t forget the melodrama taken straight out of the records made by The Smiths! Their lyrics show inspiration drew from various sources – from Leonard Cohen, George Orwell to the mismanagement caused by Theresa May & Co. The band is just brilliant, aren’t they?”
Upon returning home, The Blinders have been invited to play a gig at Albert Square during the Manchester International Festival on July 16th 2019. The show, organized by Manchester legend and Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam, will take place in a massive marque at the Albert Square. They will be joined by fellow Mancunians, WITCH FEVER and Birmingham sensation, The Pagans SOH. The entry to the concert is free of charge (there are no tickets) and the venue has about 500 people capacity. First come, first serve basis so come early to claim your spot.
Albert Square schedule
The show is 14+ and will start at 8:00 pm and finish at 10:00.
After 10:00 pm, XS Manchester Radio DJ, Shell Zenner will spin some records and The Blinders guys are said to help make the selection! The DJ set will finish at midnight.
The Blinders are poster boys for Manchester International Festival
Ola, ola! The Blinders will play Spain for the first time in their career! Now, that’s what we call a summer festival. Good bye mud and good bye rain, hello free margaritas! Benicassim Festival is taking place in the province of Castelló, on the Costa del Azahar, in a (hang on tight) beach resort! If that doesn’t make you green with envy, then you are a saint! Anyway, it has been going on since 1995 and is considered to be one of the most popular and largest festivals on the Iberian Peninsula. 2019 edition will take place between 19th and 22nd of July. The Line up include Jesse Glynne, Lana Del Ray, The 1979, George Ezra, The Big Moon, Kings of Leon and Fat Boy Slim among others. The time schedules will be available at a later date and of course, we will share them as soon as we lay our hands on them!
Benicassim Festival 2019 poster
The Blinders profile
Benicassim is a beach resort on the Spanish coast between Valencia and Barcelona, 12 km from Castellón.
The Festival site is situated on the N-340 road , KM 986.300.Exit 12km north of Castellón.
From Barcelona: AP-7 motorway , exit 45
From Valencia: AP-7 motorway, exit 46
Coordinates: 40.048068N, 0.047872E.
It’s a bit of a shame that the boys will not be able to enjoy the Spanish weather and the beach, as they will have to leave the festival site on the next day (20th of July) to travel to Portugal to attend Super Bok Super Rock Festival. Super Bok Super Rock takes place in Meco Beach in Sesimbra, just south of Lisbon. The festival started in 1994 and this year’s edition will see Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Jungle, Cat Power, METRONOMY, Branko, Dino D’ Santiago, Glockenwise and ROOSEVELT performing alongside the trio.
SBSR general poster
EDP stage poster
The Festival gave The Blinders a beautiful review with this statement:
“Anyone who believes that punk is dead should go and listen to The Blinders as quickly as possible. The best word to describe this Doncaster band is “urgency”. The Blinders play with all the urgency of punk, without holding themselves back. They are not beating about the bush, instead they are going straight to the core of things with maximum energy. Guitarist and vocalist Thomas Haywood, bassist Charlie McGough and drummer Matthew Neale, formed the band in 2014, while studying at the university in Manchester. The following year was spent writing, composing, rehearsing and playing live whenever an opportunity arose. Their fame grew quickly, thanks to the band’s contagious energy, political undertones and punk spirit. Those ingredients, mixed in perfect proportions, made their debut EP “Hidden Horror Dance” released in 2016, an instant success. Inspired by Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, The Fall and John Cooper Clarke, The Blinders managed to create their own musical language. Their full fledged debut album “Columbia” saw the light of the day in September 2018 and it was produced by Gavin Monaghan. The British trio will bring their political music to the EDP stage for your listening pleasure”.
The official Super Rock band portrait
The Blinders are mentioned on the website for Super Bok Super Rock!
And they were also highlighted on the festival’s official Instagram account where they got nearly 72.000 views for the short video. Not too shabby, isnt it?
Humber Street Sesh is a two day festival taking place in Kingston Upon Hull. After successful, sold out edition in 2018, the festival will return to the city centre on 2nd and 3rd of August 2019. More than 200 bands will play and the headliners include The Blinders (but of course), the Hunna, Yonaka, King No-One, Life and Rosemary’s Baby, a very good, alternative rock and horror inspired outfit. There are 15 stages, massive market area, chill out zone, silent disco and everything else you can imagine. The main stage is located at the at the Hull Marina. the music starts at 12:00 pm each day and will last til 11:00 pm giving you the glorious 11 hours of good noise. Bring ID’s as the venues have different policies. Some are 14+ and some are strictly 21+.
Humber Street Sesh poster
The Blinders will be playing on Friday, August 2nd at the Marina, but stage times are not yet available.
Jimmy’s in Manchester is one of the most popular Northern Quarter venues. The club became so popular that it was just a matter of time that another place under the same name will be opened. And when a good opening in Liverpool became available, the Jimmy’s team didn’t think twice and voila! Jimmy’s Liverpool is opening on 3rd of August with a gig that will go down in history! The Blinders are headlining but they are joined by Saytr Play, Deja Vega, Dantevilles, Ryan Jarvis, Scuttlers, Ambiere and Bones Shakes!
Jimmy’s Liverpool Grand Opening!
The Blinders events on Jimmy’s website
Address: 130 Bold Street, Liverpool Location: Situated at the top of Bold Street opposite the Bombed Out Church, Jimmy’s will be a 3 floor venue, housing a 250 capacity live room, ground floor bar and stunning first floor restaurant. Tickets: on general sale from 29th of June at: https://jimmys.live/event/the-blinders/
If you’d like to catch the Blinders in a really intimate venue, then come to Blackburn on 8th of August! They will be performing their first, full acoustic show for just 120 people for the popular Night at The Museum gig series. This will be the 10th Museum Night and it will take place…you know at the Blackburn Museum! The band will be joined by two female artists: Julia Bardo (guitarist of a popular band, Working Men’s Club) and a newcomer, Millie McLeod. The show starts exactly at 7:30 pm and will finish about 11:00. Tickets are very limited and cost £15.
On 15th-18th of August, The Blinders will be performing at The Beautiful Days festival in Devon. It is considered one of the best independent festivals in the UK. It is the Levellers’ independent family music festival organised by DMF Music which takes place at Escot Park in Devon and has been running for 16 years. The festival has several stages, amazing site art, a huge children’s area, comedy, theatre, family camping, real ale bars from Otter Brewery & a great choice of food and craft stalls. Beautiful Days has no sponsorship, branding and does not advertise. The festival won the Grass Roots Festival Award at the 2015 UK Festival Awards and Best Medium Festival in the FestivalKidz.com 2015 Awards. They were shortlisted for Best Medium Sized Festival at the 2016 UK Festival Awards. The festival also made it through to the final shortlists in the 2017 UK Festival Awards for 3 awards and won Best Medium Festival at the 2017 Festival Kidz Awards. The Blinders will join Skunk Anansie, Ziggy Marley, The Levellers, The Stranglers (Official), Sleaford Mods, Songhoy Blues, Peter Hook & The Light, The Black Seeds, Kate Rusby and at least 100 more acts that will be announced soon. The stage times are not available at the moment but we will be updating the diary!
Billed as the last festival of the summer (not really accurate, but a good marketing try!), The Bingley Weekender will take place between 30th of August and 1st of September. The line up for the festival is huge with Doves, James, Ocean Colour Scene, Billy Bragg playing alongside young acts. The Blinders will play on Saturday, 31st of August with Tom Grennan, Circa Waves, Zuzu and Only The Poets. The stage times will be revealed latter in the summer!
September will see the band travelling all over Europe again, we guess the saying “No Rest for The Wicked” is actually true. On Friday, 6th of September, the boys will play at Confessional Festival at Holy Trinity Church, Mount Pleasant in Blackburn. This new alternative festival will bring together a fantastic line up of International Teachers of Pop, Red Rum Club, White Room and Working Men’s Club among many other acts. The Blinders are co-headlining and the festival will take place in an actual church! Come all ye faithful for a service with a full sonic blessing!
On 7th of September, the legendary group, The Specials will perform at Gunnersbury Park in London. They will be joined their long time friends, Ocean Colour Scene, General Roots and The Blinders! This event will be a small festival as the doors are opening at 12:00 pm and the music will be playing until 11:00 pm. Tickets are flying out so please buy them as quickly as possible. They are only £56 per one. The Specials tour is already largely sold out – if you are planning to attend London show you will have to hurry up! Stage times will be made available at later date.
On the 19th of September, the legendary Amsterdam club Paradiso will organize a mini festival called Indiestadt. The Blinders will join Algiers, Stars, Cassia, Penelope Isles and The Stroppies for a full day of new exciting music. Tickets go on sale on 26th of April and will cost 17 euros. Please be quick as the pre-orders are already opened!
The Blinders mentioned on the Paradiso website
Paradiso advertises the festival with this beautiful entry about the Doncaster trio: “The Blinders are a young band based these days in Manchester. They know what to do with a good, heavy riff! Their music is hard, blusey and full of bravado, that only British bands seems to be able to get away with. Political punk rock undertones guarantee a spectacular live shows”.
On October 5th, The Blinders will headline a brand new all day event in the South of England. It is called Dials Festival and is located in the city of Portsmouth. The festival started in 2015, and ran in 2016 and 2018 winning several national awards. 2019 will be its fourth edition. Dials will support a charitable cause and proceeds will go to Solent Mind, to continue the discussion of mental health issues with both its audience and artists. The Blinders will play alongside Another Sky, Brighton’s garage rock duo ARXX, industrial noise punks Black Futures, local indie heroes Fake Empire, Bristol’s raucous post-punk favourites Haze, dream pop pioneer HUSSY, the experimental ambient work of Johanna Bramli, Brighton noisemakers LibraLibra, space pop five-piece Pocket Sun, indie-darlings Saltwater Sun, energetic post-punks Talk Show and delicate alt rockers wych elm.
Dials Festival poster
The festival gave a fantastic review to the Blinders saying: “Headlining the festival will be UK 3-piece The Blinders. ‘An incendiary soundtrack of garage punk and swamp blues that’s best described as Nick Cave slumming it or The Eighties Matchbox Arctic Monkeys’ was how Drowned in Sound website described the band last year. Just off the back of their biggest UK dates to date, this summer The Blinders support Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and play a number of outdoor festivals. DIALS is incredibly excited to bring them back indoors in October to play the main stage at The Wedgewood Rooms where punters will be able to see just why they’ve developed such a fierce reputation for incredible live shows”.
Address: The Wedgewood Rooms, 147b Albert Rd, Portsmouth, Southsea PO4 0JW
Time: from 12:00 pm till late
Age: All ages admission (under 14 with supervision from responsible adult)
Time schedules will be available shortly!
On Saturday 12th of October, The Blinders will be playing at the Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester. The line up looks like an indie fans dream come true: Miles Kane, Pins, The Big Moon, The Pale White, Lady Bird and over 100 acts more! The participating venues include: Bread Shed, The Refuge, Night People, Revolution Oxford Road, Thirsty Scholar, Zombie Shack, Manchester Academy, the O2 Ritz, Albert Hall, Deaf Institute, Gorilla and YES.
You can see the beautiful video below:
Tickets are going to come on sale on Thursday 13th of June.
The Blinders will play Albert Hall according to early reports but stage times have not been confirmed yet.
November is looking like a very busy month for the band as well, and we honestly do not know when they will find the time to record anything as they are constantly on tour! We are not worried about the touring part at all, the more gigs we can attend, the better for us!
On 9th of November, the trio will attend the 2Q Festival. This is a one day, multi-venue, live music festival, that takes place throughout nine centrally located venues within the city centre of Lincoln. the festival started in 2017 and received numerous awards. The Blinders played there last year and are returning after the organizers were bombarded by requests to have them play again, this time as a headliner. So by popular demand, the band will make another appearance and will rock Lincoln like a (political) hurricane.
All the venues are opening at 12:00 and the music will be playing until 11:00pm. Expect 10 venues, 60+ bands and a lot of people. Bring ID’s, the entry to all clubs is marked as 18+.
2Q Festival poster
We're happy to announce the line-up for 2Q Festival Lincoln 2019!
The next November gig will be the Shimmer Sounds. This is a new music festival organized by The MJS Group. It debuted in 2018 in Cardiff and was a huge success. This year’s edition will take place on 16th of November in Cardiff (Tramshed) and on 17th of November in Birmingham (The Mill in Digbeth). So far three headliners have been revealed: Temples, The Blinders and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. Both shows will start at 14:30 pm and the music will be playing until 11:00 pm (curfew for both venues). At least 6 more acts will be revealed before September the organizers have announced.
Early bird tickets are now sold out for both venues. We will be updating this entry as more information is announced:
After years of preparation, and months of excitement and awaiting, the DAY OF TRUTH has arrived.
The debut album by The Blinders is finally here and now the entire world will hear the story of Johnny Dream and His Codeine Scene.
You are being watched! Johnny Dream is looking at you from the cover of “Columbia”
This musical hurricane will take you on a ride that will not be easily forgotten. To celebrate, Vanadian Avenue has opened the doors to the Columbia National Library Archives and digged out some impressive data to boast about the fruitful last couple of weeks.
The Blinders team has been working extremely hard and we would like to mention several people who made everything possible.
First of all, of course the musicians themselves: Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matty Neale. Plus Gavin Monaghan (the producer) and Joseph Wildy Murray (the engineer), who get the honorary mention as it was their experience and knowledge that created this masterpiece. They are truly the Wizards of Wolverhampton.
Second, their record label – Modern Sky UK and managers: Tim Abbott and Paul Fassam.
Third – their PR team with Caffy St Luce at the helm, their booking agent Jamie Wade and Sam Crowston – visualizer, artist, filmmaker, photographer and the man behind all graphic representation of Columbia.
Very, very special thanks to Mr Chris Hawkins and Mr Steve Lamacq – a legendary man who is the same to the new generation of musicians as John Peel was to us.
And then their families who supported them from the start, their friends and fellow bands that came to the shows, newspapers and magazines that wrote about them, journalists and DJ’s who played them, BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing teams and BBC 1 teams, Amazing Radio, Radio X, XS Radio Manchester and other radio stations who played their music, photographers who tirelessly took millions of pictures and edited them right after the gig so people could enjoy them in the morning, promoters who booked shows and shouted on Twitter and other socials trying to sell tickets and bring crowds in, bars and clubs that hosted the band, fans for sticking with the band through thick and thin and countless of others who were there and we will never know their names.
THANK YOU to all and each one of you – you are wonderful human beings and your kindness means a world to three young lads from Doncaster.
Things would not be possible without your help.
The last three months before the album release have been very busy. You may not realize how much planning, work and extra hours go into social media, making of promotional materials or just simple PR. It is never ending job that keeps everything together.
We called this blog Columbia Library Archives as we tried to collect links, videos, interviews, and all sort of strange data that could show you what has been done and achieved.
Please feel free to scroll through this small collection and enjoy it. If you have missed something before, this is now your chance to discover it all over again.
To make it easier for you, we have divided our findings into groups:
Chart position: Columbia has debuted on the official UK Top 40 on the date of its release, 21st of September 2018. The Party has released an official statement and every woman, man and a child living within the glorious borders of our nation-state is expected to read it and celebrate the success!
The statements reads: “Having caught wind that our debut album ‘Columbia’ has entered the realms of the top 40 midweek album charts, we would just like to thank every single person who has purchased the record in the past few days. You all mean the world to us, and we really couldn’t be doing this without you. To ensure it stays there, buy it, play it, and tell all yer friends about it.”
The statement is accompanied by the special celebratory video:
And the band would like to thank everyone who ever supported them so please continue doing!
Official statistics are as follows:
Mid Week Top 40 – 28th place
Official Top 40 – 54th place
Official Record Store Top 20- 6th place
Indie Album Top 30 – 8th place
Indie Album Breakers – 1st place
Vinyl Sales of the Week – 10th place
Re-entry (Indie Album Breakers Top 20) – 15th place on 14.01.2017
Mid Week Top 40 – 28th place
Indie Album Top 30 – 8th place Indie Album Breakers – 1st place
Official Top 40 – 54th place
Official Record Store Top 20- 6th place
Vinyl Sales of the Week – 10th place
The Album returned to the charts on 14th of January 2019 at number 15th
Columbia spent three weeks on the charts with the peak position at number 1
It reads: “The self-titled debut album from Brighton rockers Black Honey opens at 22, one rung higher than Iridescence, the major label debut from hip-hop group Brockhampton (23). Doncaster group The Blinders are also vying for a Top 40 finish with their debut album Columbia (28)”.
Please check out this section often as it will be updated as new info is available!
BBC6 Music Album of the Day: On 1st of October 2018, Columbia has been named the Album of the Day by BBC6 Music. This is one of the highest recognition that can come for a debuting album and millions of people heard 6 songs from the album being played throughout the day.
Album of the Day according to the Gospel aka BBC6 Radio! Thank you so much guys!!!
Amazing Radio Album of the Week 01.10.2018-07.10.2018:
Columbia as the Album of the Week
Columbia has been chosen as an Album of the Week at Amazing Radio during the period of 1st and 7th of October. That means the album is played each day during the core hours and on Friday, the 5th of October, you will have a chance to listen to the entire album on air without interruption from 2:00 PM sharp. https://amazingradio.com/home/album-of-the-week-the-blinders-columbia
Festivals: The Blinders are in such a great demand that each day, a new gig or concert is being added. Those lucky ones who have the tickets, were able to see them performing on two festivals before they embark on a national tour.
The first festival called Neighbourhood ManchesterFestival took place on the 6th of October and The Blinders were added as a secret guest just 12 hours before the show. The band played at the YES the Pink Room and it was of course a sold out performance.
The second festival named Twisterella Festival in Middlesbrough took place on the 13th of September. The Blinders were one of the headliners along with Estrons, Avalanche Party and Bryde. As with previous performances, tickets were selling fast and it is a good indicator that many shows will sell out on the commencing tour. The Blinders played their 50 minute slot at The Townhouse, starting at 21:00 pm.
Mailing list and newsletters are very useful tools helping to keep in touch with fans and informing them about new things from the band’s HQ. Like any other marketing materials, Columbia Daily (aka the newsletter) is issued in in monochrome and contains pictures, latest news and the most important links.
Playlist: Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services on the Internet allowing billions of users to access the music. The Blinders are added to hundreds of small lists made by fans and industry professionals, but recently they came with a list of their own. And it is a pretty special list as it shows the band’s entire officially released catalog! It also looks wonderfully as you ca see at the attached screens below:
“It is guitar orientated album that is true to the live performance. Songs are fast and yet catchy, with haunting back ground vocals and hypnotizing drums. It is the fresh perspective on what music should be in 2018 – direct, poetic, enigmatic, political, tearing out your soul and different from what is happening around. And that is what Thomas Haywood, Matty Neale and Charlie McGough bring to the table” – Malicia Dabrowicz for Vanadian Avenue https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/indieterria-review-columbia-by-the-blinders/
“How important is this release going to be? Personally, I’ve waited for a band to make an album like this for twenty, maybe thirty years. Political albums can often deter because they are hard work, but they do endure… I’m thinking about albums by Gil Scott Heron, The Clash, Billy Bragg, Public Enemy, Manic Street Preachers, The The or Dead Kennedys. When the political scene is as warped and cruel as it is now, music should comment on it and be influenced by it. The Blinders are making music to mark their protest; there should be more like them” – Alan Neilson for BrumLive Magazine http://www.brumlive.com/blinders-columbia-debut-album-released-21-september-2018/
Signed LP on vinyl – back
“Politically charged trio The Blinders have taken the UK music scene by storm. Not only did their track ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ get playlisted on BBC 6 Music, but they also landed a headline slot on the BBC Introducing stage at this summer’s Reading & Leeds festivals. Needless to say, these boys are destined for success” – Harriet Willis for The Skinny Music Blog https://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/reviews/albums/the-blinders-columbia
“That shamanic, compelling mood is captured perfectly in ‘Columbia’. Ably produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors, The Sherlocks, Goldblade), the album sees childhood friends Thomas Haywood, bassist/co-writer Charlie McGough and drummer Matt Neale follow Johnny Dream on his spiritual awakening, from the coruscating swagger of the opening ‘Gotta Get Through’ to the raw, beautiful and ultimately redemptive finale ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska)” – (legendary) R*E*P*E*A*T Fanzine https://repeatfanzine.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-blinders-debut-album-columbia-out-this-friday-uk-tour/
“It’s a really impressive debut, and we actually found ourselves feeling suitably shocked after our first listen at how accomplished it sounds. The band make indie rock music that is supercharged and political, with groovy yet raw riffs filling each song on the album. It’s raw but the production never sounds too fuzzy, with it all sounding pretty damn perfect to us” – Jane Howkins for York Calling https://yorkcalling.co.uk/2018/09/01/the-blinders-columbia/
“‘Hate Song’ is all urban noir menace, ‘Free The Slave’ a 28-second leviathanesque anthem, ‘Et Tu’ a heads down bass battering Adam and the Ants from Dante’s Inferno and, joining the quote dots, ‘Brutus’ a full seven minutes of charged rock darkness that variously encompasses Floyd, Enter Shikari, Metallica and Nick Cave. Impressive stuff” – Mike Davies for Roots and Branches Zine http://roots-and-branches.com/brum-beat–the-beat/record-reviews-september.html
“Manchester’s Blinders bring the classic rock vibes with their debut outing, Columbia. Brimming with Arctic Monkeys swagger but imbued with a subtle psychedelic edge and semi-spoken lyrical fire, these young upstarts have set a great precedent for things to come. In the meantime, this should definitely sit well in your collection” – Piccadilly Records (Manchester Independent Record Store) https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/counter/product.php?pid=123568
“Whirring riffs dominating, the war drums integral, drone sounds making you check over your shoulder as you listen. It‘s infectious, with bombastic drum beats, western twangs and jangly yet searing guitar riffs getting you ready to dance, mosh or start a revolution” – Johnny Rogerson for Clash Magazine https://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/the-blinders-columbia
“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia
“Perhaps once in a generation comes a movement that speaks for its outcasts, those who are undernourished but well read, those who see injustice, but have been fed only on a diet of apathy, and corruption. The blue generation before us were emotionally rescued by bands like the Manic Street Preachers, now, rising from the ashes of Brexitopia, (and the burned out ruins of the indie landfill) we have The Blinders” – Dizzy Spell for The Zine UK https://www.thezineuk.co.uk/single-post/2018/09/19/Stepping-into-Columbia-with-The-Blinders
“So where does ‘Columbia’ place The Blinders? It’s an impressive debut, one that captures the essence of what they’re about and as much of the live performance as is possible within the constraints of a studio recording. It doesn’t compromise their personalities and the real core of what they’re about in search of a hit radio-friendly album, but it’s that which has caught the ear of those that champion them. They have influences but not too overt, their songs observe rather than preach, talk of politics in its social context attacking ideologies and beliefs rather than directly attacking individuals which give it more gravitas. But most important of all they remain true to themselves” – Even the Stars Blog http://www.eventhestars.co.uk/2018/09/the-blinders-columbia.html?m=0
“In the age of distraction, it’s hard to craft an album that grips you for a full 40 minutes and doesn’t have you reaching for the skip button, but ‘Columbia’ is a rare breed, as are The Blinders themselves. This is one to not only cherish, but to lose your voice and mind to in equal measures” – Richard Cobb for Little Indie Blogs https://littleindieblogs.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia.html
“Of the lineage of politically charged and anti-establishment albums, The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, stand out as the two that most inform Columbia, which is without doubt an astounding achievement and a seismic debut for the band that labelled their sound in 2016 as ‘a spellbinding punkadelic-esque Roman orgy’. Columbia, the ‘alternate world informed by reality’ reverberates with the sound of the temple’s foundations being rocked to their very core” – Andrew Gutteridge for Words For Music Blog https://wordsformusic.blog/2018/09/21/album-review-the-blinders-columbia/
“An outstanding debut, The Blinders have caused an itch with Columbia, an itch I hope they can scratch with a follow up. We sacked off the ratings system a long time ago, but Colombia feels like an Eight from a band who have the potential to deliver a Ten. Far from a classic, but ever so close. Thoroughly enjoyable and a real kick up the ass for the alternative rock scene who should take notes from this excellent piece of work” – Josh Bell for RGM: Reyt Good Magazine https://www.rgm.press/review-the-blinders-columbia/
Vinyl copy of “Columbia”
“It’s impossible to fully appreciate this album in word form and I cannot stress enough how much you have to listen to it for yourself. The Blinders have truly changed the game with ‘Columbia’. They’re going to take over the world” – Lottie Catrin forLet It Happen Music Blog https://letithappenmusicblog.com/2018/09/21/the-blinders-columbia/
“If The Blinders were trying to get a message across, they couldn’t have achieved it in any more clarity if they’d tried. It’s poetical perfection. This, 12-track, just-under-40-minute album is, at it’s core, just a piece of music. But at it’s best, it’s a statement; a concept; it’s meant to provoke a reaction. And it does. Even during the live shows, the band, clad in face paint and dark clothing, embrace the ideology and the theme of the album entirely, immersing themselves in this make-believe world that they truly believe could become real sometime soon. The hype around this album has been second-to-none amongst independently released albums in the past ten years. But we’re here for it” – The Indie Room Blog https://theindieroomblog.wordpress.com/
“But it is impossible not to be sucked into this scary world of slithering bass, straight-for-the-throat guitars and Thomas Haywood’s cool without being an annoying snob popular cultural references. The deliciously snarling guitars that pave the way of ‘Et Tu’ and then again on the outro to ‘Brutus’ while Haywood screams ‘Et tu, Brute?’ over the top are the stuff of genius. This isn’t songwriting, this is atmospheric musical theatre” – Leigh Sanders, Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments at Express and Star and Shropshire Star. https://www.shropshirestar.com/entertainment/music/2018/09/22/the-blinders-columbia—album-review/
“Doncaster trio The Blinders’ Columbia is a dystopian-infused, literary-inspired social critique on modern day society, comparing our own world to those created by Orwell and Huxley. Before listening I was apprehensive, afraid the ferocious punk sound that has dominated their early works and live shows would become too repetitive, but Columbia’s highlights are the tender moments. Acoustic number ‘The Ballad Of Winston Smith’, and Nick Cave-inspired ‘Orbit (Salmon Of Alaska) are the album highlights as Tom Haywood, under his persona of Johnny Dream” https://therodeoblog.blogspot.com/2018/09/on-trend-future-is-bright.html
“If ever there were a time for heroes, it be now. A band to speak to and for the disaffected, disenfranchised youth about to be trampled on by the aftermath of us adults screwing up their future by withdrawing from the EU and leaving them with a “no deal” Britain that ensures they’ll be working until they drop and the word ‘pension’ will become as obsolete as pronouncing the letter “H” as it is spelt” – James Auton for God is in the TV blog http://www.godisinthetvzine.co.uk/2018/09/24/the-blinders-columbia-modern-sky/
“Emerging from Doncaster as new bastions of explosive live music, The Blinders have become a must-see band on the UK live circuit in the past two years. Fusing punk politics, gnarly hooks and psych-lyricism, the band have found the perfect algorithm to live success. Picking up support from 14 influential playlists, including Indispensables and Walk Like A Badass, The Blinders have enjoyed a 132% increase in their playlist following in the past 7 days, taking their total to over 3.5 million. With a 5.45% increase in their artist following, the trio also seem to be building a solid fanbase” – FRTYFVE Blog, powered by Instrumental https://www.frtyfve.com/new-music/hottest-artist-in-the-world-the-blinders
“On the back of the game-changing album ‘Columbia’, The Blinders have now cemented themselves as one of the hottest bands in the UK. The album itself is racing into the UK top 40 after rave reviews from fellow bands, fans and press – we’ve had it playing constantly since last Friday, and trust us – believe the hype!” – Mock It (the Best in New Music) Blog https://mockitmusic.wixsite.com/mockitmusic/features/tenement-trail-the-blinders
“In tracks such as ‘Hate Song’, ‘Where No Man Comes’, the scintillating power of expression in ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’, ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)’, The Blinders have found the right series of buttons which makes, which demands of the debut a sense of the calm, collected, and ready to light the beacons in the anticipation of fighting a bigger battle ahead. It is a battle in which the generations above had better be wary of standing in their way ” – Ian D. Hall for Liverpool Sound and Vision http://www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk/2018/09/25/the-blinders-columbia-album-review/
“Influenced by Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, there’s also a hint of Kasabian in their groove-laden alt-rock sound. This brooding collection of 12 songs is loosely based around the concept of Columbia as ‘an alternate world informed by reality’. It demands your attention from the off with a wonderful brace of singles, the insistent ‘Gotta Get Through’ and ‘L’Etat C’Est Moi’ (it means I Am The State). Like most of the album’s best moments, they’re propelled along by delicious post-industrial bass lines reminiscent of Peter Hook in his Joy Division pomp” – Gary Welford for Hartlepool Mail https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/whats-on/music/album-review-the-blinders-columbia-1-9365505
“The album provides a unique and enjoyable listen, leaving you feeling fully involved with the dystopia that is Columbia, all helped by the vivid imagery of the lyrics. This band is essential to 2018, and with this album they have literally pulled a blinder” – Katie Macbeth for Rock Chic Blog https://rockchicme.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-blinders-columbia.html
“For a young generation on the cusp of a new political awakening, their debut will no doubt act as an accompanying soundtrack to their cause. After a few years of honing their craft and some impressive slots on the UK festival scene this year, ‘Columbia’ will be taking The Blinders places – so catch them while you can” – Ceri Saunders for ON: Yorkshire Magazine https://www.on-magazine.co.uk/arts/music/album-reviews/columbia-the-blinders/
“The Blinders are a band worth experiencing live. Enrapturing, politically injected lyrics enable the gig-goer to encounter an alternative to what is seen in mainstream media. Catch them on their headline tour alongside White Room and Calva Louise this October and November, you won’t be disappointed” – Sahar Ghadirian for Forge Media http://forgetoday.com/2018/10/02/review-the-blinders/
“Despite clocking in 12 songs in just over 42 minutes, ‘Columbia’ never rushes its narrative. Constantly proving that rock and roll is most definitely still alive and well, The Blinders have returned the hope that rock and politics can go hand in hand. With hints of the ‘Stones, The Smiths and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, it’s quite hard to not deem ‘Columbia’ as one of the most influential albums of 2018. It’s a definitive, well-polished record from a young, promising band who stand for something much more” – Paige Smiths for Not Enough Notes Blog http://www.neverenoughnotes.co.uk/2018/10/review-the-blinders-columbia-rock-debut/
“The stunning debut album from Manchester underground band, The Blinders” – Amazon UK/Amazon.com
Official advert for Columbia on Amazon UK
A new review from K Production
“Energetic, goth-tinged Yorkshire three-piece The Blinders take their influences from great lyricists, poets and writers such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, John Lennon, Rimbaud, Allen Ginsberg, George Orwell and William Burroughs, but also count Charles Manson and the devil among their influences. Their debut album, Columbia, therefore, is a bit different to the run-of-the-mill indie bands around today. LP and CD on Modern Sky Entertainment.” – KProduction https://www.keyproduction.co.uk/blog/2017/latest-releases-manufactured-by-key-production-group_september-round-up/
Columbia review by Jack Saunders of BBC Radio1. Picture by Sam Crowston
“Delivering an LP of fierce dystopian rock n roll loosely based around the concept of ‘an alternate world informed by reality’, The Blinders are an example of a new breed of guitar band who are noticeably far less complacent than many from earlier on in the decade. They bash out an exciting blend of punk, indie and psychedelica, listing their influences as Dylan, Cohen, Mark E Smith, Lennon, Cave, Kerouac, Rimbaud, Orwell, Ginsberg, and S.Borroughs” – Rewind/Forward Blog https://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/2018/09/album-review-blinders-columbia-2018.html
“Throughout the album, the influence of the works of George Orwell is ever clear, especially on acoustic ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’ named after the protagonist in the novel 1984. The tracks speaks of the mainstream media reporting and building stories out of nothing, whilst letting those in charge get away with whatever they wish” – Katie MacBeth for RawMusicTV https://www.rawmusictv.com/review/2018/The-Blinders-release-debut-album-Columbia
“One of the most anticipated British debuts of 2018, The Blinders deliver a fully rounded rock statement with ‘Columbia’ but leave their future open. The Blinders have created something cohesively packed not only with raw energy and rage also with knowledge, chemistry and the profound. To say Columbia an impressive debut would be an understatement, but it’s also apparent there’s more to come. 8/10″ – Sandie Garland for The Student Playlist https://www.thestudentplaylist.com/review-the-blinders-columbia/
“This increasingly rare concept album, coupled with their constant references to history and literature display an artistic intelligence perhaps uncommonly associated with such a heavy-hitting sound. Alongside the likes of Cabbage and IDLES, they are leading the way in creating a new brand of socially aware Punk. With the release of ‘Columbia’, The Blinders are dragging us into a dystopian future where Punk-Rock rules again” – James Booton for Boot Music Blog http://jamesbooton15.wixsite.com/boot-music/single-post/2018/09/19/The-Blinders—Columbia
“The Blinders debut album ‘Columbia’ is a raw, loud and punky piece of dystopian-themed indie rock that makes you fall in love with rock music, all over again. 🎸👨🎤 🤘” – Roxi for RoxiPicks Twitter Channel https://twitter.com/roximusicsystem
“The album has lots of energy but settles into your standard swampy/punk sound, with odd high spots: I Can’t Breathe is similarly retro to the opener and stands out, as does the slower, and Levellers-ish, Ballad Of Winston Smith. Even the more ‘routine’ tracks are far from predictable: Hate Song speeds, to give the moshpit a reason for frenzy, Where No Man Comes opens with an arty disco beat and jagged guitars” – Review Corner https://reviewcorner.org/2018/12/21/the-blinders-columbia/
Indie For Bunnies Italian Blog – The Blinders review
“The debut album for The Blinders is finally here. Three youngsters from Doncaster who now live and study in Manchester, have been mentioned for a long while now in various English magazines and it seems that everybody has been eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Columbia’. What can be said – it was worth the wait. This is an interesting, magnetic, 100% rock and roll album. Almost two years passed between the releases of their debut album and their first EP ‘Hidden Horror Show’ that saw the light of day back in 2016. The EP showed much potential and maturity and working with legendary producer, Gavin Monaghan on their debut album allowed the band to produced a real magic that will satisfy hundreds and thousands of new fans. Gavin Monagham is called the Wizard of Wolverhampton for a reason. It is worth adding that Columbia was recorded fully at Monaghan’s recording studio, The Magic Garden in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. From the opening chords of ‘Gotta Get Through’ to the magnificent closing track ‘Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)’, The Blinders prove that they have a maximum control over the listeners. They take them on a journey filled with distorted guitars, haunting vocals and protest songs against controlling political systems. Several songs are highlights of the album. ‘Ballad of Winston Smith’ will make your hair stand on its end. It is hauntingly beautiful, mature, with a nostalgic bow and background chants that remind us of a movie soundtrack. It could be a great theme song for the next James Bond movie. ‘Et Tu’ brings us back to reality with aggressive rhythm and ‘Brutus’ flirts with multiple layers of percussion and pulsing bass line that sounds like Arctic Monkeys, Drenge and Slaves mixed together. So, here are The Blinders. Three different people, three amalgamated elements, that made one truly interesting album filled with innovative ideas, mature lyrical themes and classic rock and roll. Columbia is so good, it will withstand the passing of time” – Ben Moro for IBF (Indie for Bunnies) Italian Blog Translation from Italian by Vanadian Avenue http://www.indieforbunnies.com/2018/11/05/the-blinders-columbia/
End of Year Reactions: 2018 is now a history! To celebrate the last 12 months, Vanadian Avenue has prepared Columbia Advent Calendar! We have our own # (hashtag) on Twitter and each day we will be posting really cool things relating to the album, tour, merch or the band! To access all tweets please use the following link: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ColumbiaAdventCalendar
We also have a proper Advent Calendar as well! Please click on each day to reveal something extraordinary about the band!
Columbia was released on 21st of September and is being counted among the albums released in 2018. Its name is appearing in many “End of year” summaries and we thought it would be good to show how well received the album is. Please see the screenshot from Twitter where users are posting their Best albums of 2018!
End of Year summaries – fans
Louder Than War magazine has always been very supportive of The Blinders and we have to thank them for their continuous faith in the band. Columbia has just been called the second best album of the year by their readers and journalists and the editor, John Robb has only the best words for them! Please see the screenshots attached and read the short interview with Thomas Haywood! You can buy the Issue 19 online at: https://vivelerock.net/product/ltw19nickcave/
Editor’s note – Louder Than War, issue 19, December 2018, page 5
Louder Than War, issue 19, December 2018, page 73 – second place (The Blinders lost only to IDLES!) and an interview on the right
The online version of this article can be seen below:
Album of the year 2018 online article from Louder Than War
We are pleased to let you know that Columbia has been placed on yet another “Album of The Year” list! According to Rewind/Fast Forward Blog, the Blinders’ debut album is so good that it went straight to number 24, overtaking The IDLES and Slaves! You can visit the page at: https://rwffmusic.blogspot.com/2018/12/2018-albums-of-year.html
The Best Albums of the Year
Long Live Vinyl Magazine has been incredibly kind to put The Blinders on their list of The Top 100 Albums of 2018! Columbia was not only included on the cover of the magazine (bottom left) but also landed at number 48, almost in the middle of the countdown! This is phenomenal achievement for the band taking into account that the album was released merely 2 months ago and faced heavy competition form established acts such as IDLES and Shame.
Industry praise is hard to achieve but The Blinders managed to convinced almost everybody in the music business that they are the next best thing. Josh Cooper, owner of the popular independent label RoadKill Records gave the Doncaster trio a gloving recommendation and a place number 4. He wrote: “These guys came out of nowhere for me and seem to have had a big a year as any band could, book-ending 2018 with an amazing 300 cap gig at Borderline and then in front of a sold out Garage following the release of ‘Columbia’. A dystopian concept album full of garage-rock anthems, Cramps style beats and hook after hook”.
In August, the Blinders paid a visit to XS Manchester Radio to speak to Jim Salveson and play two acoustic songs live on air. They were “Brave New Wolrd” and “Orbit (Salmon of Alaska)”. The 17 minute interview was a fan favourite from the start and now it has been officially named the best live session at XS Manchester of the year! You can see the results on a screen below, The Blinders scored 39% of all votes!
XS Manchester online voting results for the “Session of The Year” of 2018
Getintothis list of 100 Best Albums of the Year – The Blinders ended up at number 58
Another day and another recognition for the band! Manchester Music Forever (MMF) have chosen their favourite songs from last year and created a nice Spotify list for you to listen to. The Blinders have been placed at number 2 with “Brave New World” and the top spot went to The Slow Readers Club with “Lunatic”. Congratulations to all
GigsandTours.com is the official website of one of the UK’s leading promoters, SJM Concerts. They are also one of the most popular websites in the UK that reports on upcoming shows, music news and everything else music related. With nearly 100k followers on social media, their voice is something of a blessing in the industry. And now the blessing has been given to the Blinders! On 12th of December, Gigs and Tours released their official selection for Gigs and Tours: Best Albums of 2018 and of course, Columbia is mentioned. The reviewer, Jordan Garner wrote: “A concept album about a dystopian future and Johnny Dream (singer Tom Haywood’s on-stage persona), The Blinders give dark commentary to society on Columbia, incorporating influences of protest songs to give a cry for change on negative aspects of today’s world. A snarling whirlwind of indie-punk, The Blinders second album cements them as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of the UK. Standout tracks: ‘Gotta Get Through’, ‘Brave New World’, ‘Et Tu’” – What else can we add?
Gigs and Tours chose Columbia as one of the best albums of 2018
Manchester online service, Flick of The Finger created their own end of the year list, simply entitled “Album choices 2018”. No surprise there – The Blinders ended at number 4 and they received a glowing reviews that says: “Columbia is pure, unadulterated rock and roll. Make no mistakes about that. It is the type of album that does gets you wondering about what the band are all about on the live stage. But whether it’s at your local venue, or at home on your stereo system, they will blow your fucking heads off. And that is fine with me”. This review was written by senior journalist, Mark Sharpley and we cannot agree more!
On 14th of December, Forkster Music Promotions, published their annual FAB Singles chart from new, unsigned and emerging artists. The Blinders were mentioned at number 3 with Brave New World. The review was absolutely fantastic: “We absolutely loved this tunes music definition. It suitcases a mesmerizing rock n’ roll from ‘walloping & swinging’ bluesy riff soaring sockets, ‘thumping and pumping’ rhythm jubilations alongside a magnetic vocal promise that radiates forth with a snarling affection and rebelling attitude brilliance, loved the harmonious chorus fronts too, which brought a wicked industrial rock presence to their music table too, sensational song!”.Thank you so much!
Except the ginger-men with warpaint, the day also brought us a new new list of The Best Albums of 2018. This time it is from Captain Sound Blog who placed Columbia on the top spot! The highest place on the chart was awarded after the contributors and the readers voted. Thank you!
On 17th of December Live4ever website published their own list of the best albums of the passing year. The Blinders’ debut album landed at number 18 overtaking such well known artists as Low, Car Seat Headrest and Johnny Marr. Being included on this list is again a true honour, Live4ever Media LLC was founded by 3-time Emmy Award winning cinematographer and concert photographer Paul Bachmann, who previously spent a big part of his career working in music video production for some of the world’s top acts. Paul is partnered by The Mic, who brings a tenured background in finance and a keen knowledge of the Irish and UK music scene. Their senior editor is Dave Smith, a professional journalist who worked for The BBC, The Guardian and many other mainstream media. The review read: “Columbia doesn’t beat you over the head with its allegories. Brave New World might not be about Trump’s America, it could be about an ‘idiot king building a wall’ (although the Kardashians reference makes it hard to avoid), and Rat In A Cage doesn’t have to be about the migrant crisis, it could be a straight-forward call to arms, as Dream tells us to ‘come together, we need each other’. The politics is there if you want it to be, but it’s oblique enough to ignore should you choose to. The Blinders join Cabbage, Shame and Idles as pioneers of a movement we’ve needed for some time, giving us faith in rock music again”. Amen to this!
On 19th of December Eudaemonia Blog published their own Album of the Year compilation. The Blinders landed the top spot after the readers voted for their favourites. This only shows that each voice truly counts! Thank you to those who voted and please continue doing so as the more people know, the better.
20th of December turned out to be a great day for The Blinders. The band’s debut album was placed on two Album of the Year lists! The first mention came from Manchester Music Forever of (Mancunia) and Columbia climbed all the way to number 2. The popular website wrote: “An outstanding debut album from these adopted Mancunians. Live band of the year? The Blinders are incredibly hard working and deserving of their success to date and more in 2019”
Second mention of the day came from Luton community radio station Diverse FM and their indie rock show called “Transmission”. Columbia wno the top spot with a rave reviews from the presenters and the audience – so it is a double win for the Doncaster trio!
Indie show Transmission on Diverse FM picks the best albums of 2018
On 21st of December, VMPE blog published their own list of Best Albums of the Year and The Blinders made it to number 12! The moderator of the blog, Andy Von Pip, is a radio plugger at Amazing Radio, moderator for BBC 6 Music, DJ Tom Robinson’s Fresh on the Net and a former member of “BBC’s Sound Of” panel so his praise is not just an empty declaration. This man knows the music business inside and out! Thank you Andy!
On 22nd of December, the loveliest of people at Jimmy’s (our spiritual home in the Northern Quarter!) will play the entire Columbia album to celebrate The Blinder’s success in 2018. After all, it is one of their favourites albums of the year. The party starts at 4:00 pm sharp so if you can be there, please come. (and don’t forget to take some pictures). Oh, and have fun of course!
Jimmy’s will be playing Columbia in full on 22nd of December
On 23rd of December Jon Sidwell a staff writer for Music Liberation Blog published an official list of the best albums of 2018 according to readers and contributors. The Blinders’ debut album finished at number 10 and we are truly grateful for each vote that helped the album go so far! Thank you to all who voted and contributed!
24th of December is a Polish Christmas Day and we couldn’t wish for a better present! Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper published their list of The best of 2018 in Music and yes, you have guessed – The Blinders are mentioned as The Best Album of The Year! Journalist David Hodgeson wrote: “Listeners to the Yorkshire band’s debut album need peak physical fitness, such is the relentless and unceasingly intense energy emitted throughout the breathless opening half, drawing breath at Ballad of Winston Smith, before taking the reins back up again until Orbit (Salmon of Alaska) brings one of the freshest, most invigorating albums of the year to a close. The Blinders demonstrate a level of self-confidence and swagger that belies their young age, the bass line of stand-out track L’Etat C’est Moi forever cerebrally lodged in all affected by it, Brave New World the entry level song. The perfect foil to the similarly unrestrained live set”.
On Boxing Day (26th of December), the kind people at Forkster Music Promotions, published another FAB Singles chart, this time the final rankings for 2018. And what do we have at number 8? The Brave New World by The Blinders. The review: “A magnificent diversity of alternative rock muscle, blues rock beauty, indie rock thrust and industrial rock atmosphere charm”. Great achievement for the band and it only shows how good the Doncaster trio truly is.
On the same day, surprisingly The Blinders received a very positive review for Columbia from a popular Italian music blog called IFB (Indie For Bunnies). Columbia was listed at number 8 on the list of their best albums of the year and this is the first Italian mention for the band. Thank you guys! We have translated the review into the universal speak (aka English) so here you have it: “What a debut album for The Blinders. Three, very young English lads, doing what they do best – playing and creating their music. The record is entitled ‘Columbia’ and belongs to the garage rock genre but has everything you look for in an alternative music – great style, good taste and each member of the band brings his unique personality into the mix. It is not an exaggeration on our part. It is truly a rock and roll album that takes the listener to various musical landscapes, nearly pushing us to the edge. The vocals are raw and hoarse and they fit the pressing, duelling rhythm section. For us – almost a perfect album”. Nothing else to add!
Indie For Bunnies Blog – Columbia was placed at number 8
So we had a small break for Christmas and now it is business as usual! 27th of December and we have four mentions for the Blinders in one single day. The first End of Year summary comes from Traveller’s Tunes blog where the trio ended earning the number one for The Album of The Year. Thank you kindly for fantastic review in September and now for the top spot on your list!
Traveller’s Tunes – Columbia is on the top of the list
The second mention is by the loveliest of people at the Flick of the Finger (again). They gave The Blinders’ single “L’Etat C’est Moi” an honourable mention on the list of Best Singles of 2018, right next to Sly Antics (“Sunday Fear”), Black Honey (“I Only Hurt The Ones I love”), Johnny Marr (“Hi Hello”) and Our Fold (“Don’t You Want A Lover?”). Thank you guys! An honorable mention from you means the world to the band!
Flick of The Finger’s Honourable Mention List of 2018
The third mention belongs to Paste Magazine who just published their list of the new bands to look out for in 2019! The Blinders are their band number 3 and this is what the magazine had to say about the boys: “The Blinders released their highly-anticipated debut album, Columbia, earlier this year via Modern Sky. Originally from Doncaster, this Manchester-based trio takes lyrical inspiration from dystopian science fiction, beat poets, modern-day political turmoil and societal outcasts while echoing the doomy musical mannerisms of Nick Cave and the sinister desert rock of Humbug-era Arctic Monkeys. One of their earliest tracks “ICB Blues” commemorates the brutal killing of Eric Garner by police while “Brave New World” pays homage to the Huxley novel of the same name and pokes fun at Trump’s ludicrous border-wall proposal. Frontman Tom Haywood’s clever, offbeat growls position him as prophetic town crier while vigorous guitars circle around him like a pack of hungry wolves. Columbia is what you get when a young rock band grows up on Bob Dylan, but decides to make something saltier and with an added pinch of danger”. Can we add AMEN to this praise?
Paste Magazine places The Blinders at number 3 for the bands to look out for in 2019
The last and fourth mention for the day is given by another super supportive blog – Even The Star. They printed a lovely review of Columbia on 20th of September and supported the band from the very beginning. On their End of Year List, The Blinders were listed at number 20, but it is always a great achievement for a debuting band. Cheers guys, it means a lot!
Even the Stars blog – The Blinders are on the place number 20!
As a bonus entry, we have information from our friends at Indie Rocks Radio, that their internet pool for the Best album of The Year has just finished! And The Blinders vote by overwhelming majority! They were competing against their label mates, The Slow Readers Club and won 65% to 35%. congratulations to both bands!
Columbia won the Internet audience vote for the best album of 2018
On 28th of December (we are nearly at the end of the year!), Words For Music blog published their own Top 10 of the Best Albums of The Year. This is a real banger of a list with “Joy as an Act Of Resistance” by Idles at number one. The list also contains many acclaimed albums such as “High As A Hope” by Florence and the Machine (number 5), Arctic Monkeys “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” (number 3) and Shame “Songs of Praise” (number 7). And you may already guessed that number 2 belongs to Columbia. Congratulations to the band (yet again) and thank you to all contributors!
Words for Music blog – Columbia earned a second place
It is always nice when you are appreciated by your own label 🙂 On the same day, Modern Sky UK sent their last newsletter of the year to their subscribers and The Blinders received a heartfelt thank you’s from them and a rave review.
On 29th of December, Columbia was voted the second best album of 2018 by the staff and readers of The Fat Angel Sings blog. The writers explained their decision with a great review: “Columbia is what you get when a young rock band grows up on Bob Dylan, but decides to make something saltier and with an added pinch of danger. It is bracingly thrilling debut which firmly places The Blinders at the vanguard of a new generation of politically engaged British guitar bands. Loosely based around the concept of Columbia as “an alternate world informed by reality”, on the album The Blinders display a ferocious intelligence, as influenced by history, literature and art as they are by Britain’s current political and economic woes”. We cannot add anything else!
The Fat Angel Sings review of Columbia is simply amazing!
For the last few weeks, BBC Introducing in Sheffield were revealing their Top 50 Tracks of 2018 and finally on 29th of December we learnt who ended up in the 3rd place. Since this blog is entirely dedicated to The Blinders, there is no surprise here! BBC Sheffield DJ, Christian Carlisle wrote: “No. 3 is The Blinders and ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’. After an incredible year that saw the release of their outstanding debut album, The Blinders have becoming one of the most exciting and promising new bands to ever emerge from the UK”. So true and thank you BBC Sheffield. You have been championing the best emerging artists for a long time and we are so grateful for your help!
A day later, on 30th of December, BBC Radio 1 honoured The Blinders by featuring the band in Huw Stephen’s last show of the year. It summarized the best albums and the best tracks of 2018. Brave New World has been Huw’s beloved track for months now but it was still a very big surprise! Thank you Huw, you are a star!
BBC Radio ! with Hew Stephens chooses The Blinders among the best songs of the year
And on the same day, The Blinders were also featured on Amazing Radio’s Chart of The Year, taking the amazing 2nd place! Amazing Radio has been one of the biggest supporters of the band and it is lovely to see that they continue to do so. Roll on 2019!
Amazing Radio Chart on their website – mentioning The Blinders
Amazing Radio The Blinders are mentioned in a Tweet
And we reached the 31st of December! What a year it has been! We are looking forward to the next 12 months that will take The Blinders to Europe and beyond. We will finish off the End of Year summary section with a beautiful blog from Sahera Walker, a fellow PR lady, blogger, zine editor and music promoter. Sahera prepared a list of bands we have to listen to in 2019 (pay attention to her selection!) but she also prepared a short list of her absolute favourites from 2018. Of course, The Blinders are listed at number 7 in Sahara’s Top 10 Albums of 2018. Thank you!!
Indie Underground Top 10 of the Best Albums of 2018.
So far we have received a lot of nods and approvals for the album but a long written praise just for a single is not that common. Luckily Steve, the owner of SteveForTheDeaf blog came to the rescue with his last review published on 31st of December. The review for “Brave New World” is the second single he has written about (the first being “L’Etat C’est Moi” in June) and he had some fantastic words for the band: “The Blinders? Played up to their name in 2018. I’m expecting big things in the next 12 months, I just hope they can stay this lean and mean and keep the clutter their inevitable success will bring out of their sound”. Thank you Steve!
The last recognition for the band in 2018 (and probably the most important one) came from the legendary BBC DJ, Steve Lamacq himself. Steve has been championing The Blinders for many years and he was the one who brought them to Maida Vale Studios in London in April to record their session for BBC Introducing. Only few emerging artists can dream of such honour, but when you are called the most important new band in last three decades of rock music… well it is a different story! The Blinders recorded the session, spoke to Steve on air and of course their performance was chosen as one of the best in the last 12 months. The boys cannot do anything wrong, can they?
Steve Lamacq`s Best of Guests on his drive time show on 31.12.2018
You can listen to the show on the voice clip below:
2018 may be over but the “End of Year” and “Best of 2018” lists will continue for at least another month or so. Here is a very nice mention of The Blinders from the JoyZine Magazine published on 2nd of January 2019. The reviewer, Paul Maps wrote: “One band who are beginning to look as though they might do just that are The Blinders whose rabble-rousing psych-flecked anthems on debut LP Columbia has propelled the Doncaster trio onto plenty of ‘ones to watch’ lists”. Thank you so much guys!
JoyZine puts the Blinders on their Best of 2018 lists.
On 7th of January, CG Music Blog published their “Review of Music in 2018” and we have to say, it is a truly interesting read! The Blinders scored number one in the “Best Album” category and they beat Shame, Black Honey and Bodega on their way to the top. Columbia review read: “I’m a big fan of their live sets, and even more so of their first full long player. It can be difficult to translate the sort of performance the Blinders excel at onto a recording but kudos to Producer Gavin Monaghan. You get the same sense of the upcoming apocalypse listening on your earphones as you do when aurally assaulted at one of their incendiary gigs. The bass sound is truly terrifying. This is an album of it’s time and if we do have to go through this nonsense at least we get glorious work like this as a by product. It’s a stunner”. No complaints from us here – the album is a blinder!
On 10th of January, A Spanish blog “Peace, Love and Bananas” (a very unique name!) published their own lists of The Best Albums of 2018. Columbia has received a rave review: “Álbum debut de esta banda. Potente sonido, punk en las guitarras, político en los temas, indie en los estribillos, gótico en el estilo… con algún tema más relajado… una montaña rusa de emociones que promete un buen futuro para ellos.”
It translates to: “Columbia is a debut album for The Blinders. It is a powerful record, with strong punk guitars, indie melodies and political lyrics. We can describe it as dark, almost Gothic in places. Roller-coaster of emotions promises a great future for the trio”. Muchas gracias!
Peace, Love and Bananas. Columbia is one of their best albums of 2018