Saturday 2nd November at 33 Oldham Street saw the delayed launch party of The Blinders Live at the Ritz album - the original launch having to be postponed due to Thomas being ill.
This was an exclusive event and tickets were very limited so it was a real honour to see them in such a small intimate setting. I don't know how many were there but there couldn't have been many more than 50 there. It was also a great honour to meet the 4th member of The Blinders Katie Macbeth. She's such a darling and is as passionate about live music as I am. This was my 4th time seeing the lads this year but I've got a long way to go to catch up with Katie's circa 70 times!
The exhibition of prints, art and some of the props from the lads video's were on view prior to their live set and it was so great to see all of this in the flesh. I also met Matt on the stairs and after summoning up the courage to talk to him about some of my favourite sets of theirs he asked my name and said yes to a picture.
I took some photos of this but I wasn't there for that. I was there to enjoy a set from one of my favourite bands in an intimate setting.
The Blinders fans are a big family and you genuinely couldn't have shared this magical experience with such a bunch of nicer bunch of people.
The full set list was: L'Etat C'est Moi; Ballad of Winston Smith; Where No Man Comes; I Want Gold (new song); I Can't Breathe Blues; Orbit; Something Wicked (also new); Circle Song; Brave New World and an Encore which you're gonna have to watch the video of to see. I managed to record the whole gig and Q&A session also (see below).
In the interview our host for the evening Dave asked the lads what they thought about the pan-generational appeal of their music. Charlie answered and spoke of older fans relating to the political music of the 70's and 80's. He also said he didn't think that they appealed to many younger fans (Katie disagreed).
I remember when I first heard The Blinders.
I'd seen The Ninth Wave supporting When Young at The Deaf Institute on my birthday weekend February this year. Speaking to Hayden after the gig I said I'd loved their set and he mentioned they were supporting The Blinders at the O2 Ritz (the gig from the live album) and said I should go. He also gave me a flyer for the gig. I bought a ticket that night and thought I'd better listen to The Blinders.
So I went to Spotify and when I heard Brave New World. I was blown away. I was like what the fuck?! I was hearing something current with a heavy influence from the past. The more and more I listened to Columbia the more and more I've fallen in love with this band.
My favourite track from the lads isn't on the album... It's Murder at the Ballet from Hidden Horror Dance.
For me that track encapsulates all that is wonderful about this band. It's Anthemic! Killer riffs and Tom's rich gravely voice. Add to this Charlie's bombastic bass and Matt's dynamic pounding of the skins and you have the perfect cocktail.
I've been lucky enough to see the lads 4 times this year each a very different type of gig too. The first at The O2 Ritz, 2nd Edgeley Park (best band that day); 3rd YNOT Festival and last night at 33 Oldham Street. Each time has been absolutely bloody brilliant. Some bands you just love and the more that you see them, the more that you fall in love with their music.
I also bumped into the lovely Matt after the gig and he asked me if their set was ok?! I told him it was phenomenal and also that I tend to relate to the drummers in bands having played drums as a teenager. I also mentioned I would love to play again and he said he would give me lessons. I would definitely take him up on this! But he was such a kind and humble person. When I met Tom at YNOT as my mate Jack knows him from being a lad, Tom was exactly the same.
Towards the end of the Q&A Dave asked the band also if they were worried about living up Columbia?! If that was the bands peak? The lads replied (this is an abridged version - you can listen to the full answer in the video), that they hoped to make another album they would be proud of. That if they did and no one liked it, then they would still be proud of all they've achieved.
Their music, lyrics and performances are not 3 lads playing instruments. They're incredibly intelligent, kind, humble musicians who when they come together they create something that is so relatable to so many.
Based on tonight's performance and the new songs I heard? The lads are only going to go from strength to strength.
Thanks to Matt, Thomas and Charlie and everyone involved in putting on an evening of pure musical nirvana!
All pics are one's I took and the video's are too - the clip of Orbit is on the full version of the gig. This one is dedicated to you Katie. Up the F***ing Blinders!
Katie this one is dedicated to you - full gig with Q & A below