The Blinders, Deaf Institute, Manchester

in Live

Blimey. In the 6 months since I last saw them, things have moved on for The Blinders.

Tonight, The Deaf Institute is heaving with anticipation as The Blinders launch their debut single, Swine.  

A massive cheer goes up as frontman and guitarist Tom graces the stage, joining Charlie (bass) and Matty (Drums), and they launch straight into the heavy yet atmospheric “Brutus”. The crowd are totally into it from the offset, there’s no standing back, nonchalant gazing going on here, no pit, no barrier between band and audience.

As they career through their set, playing better-known tunes such as “Murder at the Ballet” and “ICB Blues” (ICB=I Can’t Breathe) the crowd go mad, stage diving, crowd surfing and then Tom ventures down from the stage with his guitar for a spot of moshing.  

Think Nirvana, think The Stooges, Royal Blood, The White Stripes etc and you’re on the right track. The music is heavier than the kind I would naturally go for but, as with all the aforementioned bands, something is just right. Matty’s drums are sounding proper beefy, Charlie’s basslines are brilliant, and Tom’s guitar work is second to non, a mixture of grunge/punk/feedback then slipping into slightly psychadelic garage-surf, reminiscent of a Tarantino soundtrack.

There’s something going on around here at the moment…a few bands are striking out and voicing their anger with the system – government, police brutality, war, racism, inequality and the greed of the elite. It  doesn’t seem to have happened for a while, but The Blinders are one of  this

handful of bands who are openly showing their anger and frustration through their music, and we are ready to hear it. ICB Blues was written as a reaction to hearing about the death of Eric Garner who was put in a chokehold by police in America. I’m not saying that The Blinders are in any way a protest band, but they’re concerned with the stuff that affects us all, and they’re not happy about it.  I think Tom having “THIS MACHINE KILLS MAY” scrawled on his chest and “Fuck the Tories” on his guitar might be another clue as to the bands views…

Tom seems to give everything he’s got on that stage, stumbling and almost crashing into the drums, falling into his amp…his adrenaline levels are sky high at this point, and why wouldn’t they be…these three young men have got something to say other than the all too familiar “Hey, I saw you on the terraces with your new Adidas and CP Company jacket, and you still looked like dog shit”. Instead, The Blinders close with their debut single “Swine”, a track filled with passion and angst…”I need, I need, I need not to be…I need not to be the man on the street….In this bitter city there is no hope, there is no hope, there is no hope, there is no hope”. A stormer of a track and a brilliant end to one of those gigs I will always remember.

The Blinders play Sound Control, Manchester on November 6th.

Miss it and weep.

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