Blossoms at O2 Academy Birmingham 29/11/2022

Writer Laura Mills / Photographer Ewan Williamson

As I enter the O2 Academy the atmosphere is booming after tonight’s England victory defeating Wales with a score of 3-0. No support for tonight’s show, just the match on the big screen.

The DJ doesn’t need to rile this crowd up anymore but by God he wants to because he’s just put on ‘Sweet Caroline’ and everyone, staff included, are singing.

Once more, the DJ proves he didn’t come to fuck around tonight as he plays ‘Not Nineteen Forever’ followed by ‘Three Lions’.

The second the crowd recognise what the DJ is playing they roar: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, football’s coming home.”

Will the crowd peak before Blossoms have even had the chance to grace the stage?

And then the lights lower, it’s a signal to everyone it’s show time for the boys from Stockport.

They take the stage looking smart and chic, there is a complete air of swagger to Blossoms – it just radiates off them.

Our Tuesday night set is kicked off with a classic Blossoms tune, ‘At Most A Kiss’. It’s such a popular and fan favourite tune, and it eases the crowd in.

This opener shows off every bit of what Blossoms are about, the distinctive guitar riffs with a consistent tempo guided through with the beat of the drums.

The vibe changes slightly with the song ‘Oh No (I Think I’m In Love)’. Which isn’t classic Blossoms.

The sound has been carefully crafted and placed together to create an indie, funky rhythm. This song has some pretty pristine layering with different sections changing tempo ever so smoothly.

Some parts of this track appear more fast paced than others because the band is persistently groovy.

Tom Ogden is the band’s singer, and tonight he’s hosting Birmingham. He knows how to interact with the crowd as he makes little comments here and there to fire the fans up even further.

Next up is ‘The Keeper’. This one really shows Blossoms interacting with each other as a band, looking at each other cheekily while giving everything they have to their instruments. The sound feels like Blossoms are drifting the crowd away to pure escapism, there’s a smile across everyone’s faces.

As we move through the set we’re offered songs like ‘Ode to NYC’ and ‘The Sulking Poet’, which were released earlier this year. These are all lapped up by the crowd who’ve done their research before arriving here tonight, singing every single word.

Birmingham are also getting treated to the tour debut of a song called ‘Like Gravity’, cheers bab.

Moving towards the end of the set the band strip things back for a second with an acoustic version of ‘My Favourite Room’. Then they drift into covers ‘Half the World Away’ and ‘Last Christmas’ making this an evening of festive fun as well.

I think as they’ve not played it yet we are all expecting it, and it’s warmly welcomed by this brummie crowd as Blossoms finish their set off with ‘Charlemagne’.

There’s been a bit of bouncing tonight, but as Blossoms launch into their final track the crowd mount each other’s shoulders or prepare for battle around the mosh pits.

Reaching the bridge of this song while Tom sings: “Don’t go, if only I could show you”, the pits open while the crowd awaits the final chorus of this song.

Tom sings: “And the river always flows, so if you go. I will know by the rain, my Charlemagne” – sending the crowd flying into each other with pints of Carlsberg filling the air.

What a sight to see and what a song to finish the set on. Blossoms are a band that show no signs of stopping.

Blossoms @ O2 Institute 29.11.22 / Ewan Williamson

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