A cold bleak Wednesday and a long drive down to Nottingham, like the trips to lower division mid-week football fixtures I used to make many years ago

Tonight however is definitely a winner as its the opening night of The Charlatans UK tour, but as great as the band are its the support act thats dragged me down to the East Midlands.

The magnificent Blinders from Doncaster, fresh from touring the UK with Cabbage, have landed a support slot for The Charlatans Rock City gig in Nottingham prior to their own headlining tour in February.

Back stage there are no signs of nerves despite the fact there’s no time for a soundcheck due to the early 10pm curfew. The Blinders are on stage at 7.15 but already their thirty minute slot has become twenty five minutes due to time constraints. Not that this bothers the band as they avail themselves of the catering facilities and work out a set list, the short set means there will be no time for any of the new songs they are currently working on in the studio.

Five minutes late, Charlie, Tom and Matty casually stroll on stage and begin what appears to be a casual jam before launching into a blistering six song set with all the favourite songs that Blinders fans love. L’Etat C’est Moi, Swine, Ramona Flowers are all there and by the end of Brave New World even a crowd basically there for Charlatans is chanting the refrain along with the band.

Tonight might not have been a big deal in the scheme of things but for The Blinders it represents another step up the ladder. No longer just another band. they now have some status and with their own tour in February and new music in the pipeline, 2018 is going to be the year of The Blinders