Guitar pop band Blossoms, who are hoping to become Greater Manchester’s latest musical heroes, have come fourth on the BBC Sound of 2016 list, which highlights the hottest new acts for the new year.
The five members, who were all born in the same Stockport hospital, formed in 2013 and have honed their sound by rehearsing in their bassist’s granddad’s scaffolding yard.
They say they are influenced by the Arctic Monkeys, Abba and Oasis – and singer Tom Ogden sees similarities between themselves and other bands from Manchester: “We’re working-class, five lads just doing it because we love doing it.”
Their tuneful indie also recalls The La’s and Teenage Fanclub, and is all delivered with a hint of The Doors’ psychedelic stupor.
In the beginning
The five prodigies were welcomed into the world at Stepping Hill Hospital between 1991 and ’97, and later met each other at school and teenage parties.
“We all live within a two-mile radius of each other,” Tom says. “I don’t think many people these days in bands are that close and born in the same hospital. It’s quite a nice little story.”
Ogden and drummer Joe Donovan have been best friends since meeting at the age of 13 on a school trip to Alton Towers for pupils with 100% attendance records. “We must’ve been fairly good boys,” the singer admits.
Tom, Joe and bassist Charlie Salt got together when their own teenage bands fizzled out. Donovan’s sister’s ex-boyfriend Josh Dewhurst was known to be a hot guitarist, so they roped him in too.
And they knew Myles Kellock from parties in his flat above a curry house. “We said we needed a keyboard player and he nominated himself,” Tom recalls.
“He had a broken wrist at the time. He said, ‘I can do keyboards’, but he couldn’t. He was one of them people who could play a bit of bass, a bit of drums, he knew a C chord, and he just kind of blagged it and joined the band.”
They named the new band after local pub The Blossoms – but they dropped the The. “We didn’t want that,” Ogden says. “We thought it sounded a bit old. Like all the old bands from the ’60s.”