The current British indie scene resembles something close to a barren musical wasteland of copycats, wannabe’s and has-beens. Only last week Leicester-based rockers Kasabian declared guitar music as ‘dead’. With the red-haired, corporate people pleaser Ed Sheeran standing aloft the charts and breaking records left, right and centre there has been little to no reaction from the alternative guitar scene. It only takes a quick scour of the currently released UK festival line-ups to identify this growing epidemic in British guitar music. However, in doing so you may also stumble upon a couple of anomalies. Strutting out from the sanitised pop and all-conquering grime splattered BBC playlists you’ll quickly come across Blossoms, a snake-hipped, long-haired indie-pop outfit from Stockport.
Blossoms had a huge 2016, earning the second highest-selling debut album in the UK last year (pipped rather amusingly by a jazz covers album from The Chase’s Bradley Walsh) and critical acclaim following the release of their self-titled debut album. Such success is trickling into this year as early signs show them creeping up the festival bills, as well as selling out their entire UK tour (including a date at Exeter’s Lemon Grove), as put together by NME. In what’s sure to be a celebration of just how far the band has come over the last year and a half, expect to hear everything from the anthemic ‘Charlemagne’ to the 80s-retro tinged pop of ‘Blown Rose’ to the early psychedelic guitar riffs of early single ‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’. This is not a show to miss and an opportunity to catch a band that are beginning to hit their groove. Confidently having cut their teeth on arduous and extensive touring, Blossoms are a far tighter, more experienced band than they were on their last trip to Exeter for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend (which saw them draw by far the biggest crowd of the weekend to the BBC Introducing stage).
for anyone doubting the place of guitar music in 2017, I urge you to grab A TICKET
The NME tour always hosts an interesting mix of bands, with emphasis placed on spotlighting the bands of tomorrow. This occasion is no different with a lineup keen on representing the handful of bands flying the flag for British guitar music in 2017. Alongside the glisteningly retro synths of Blossoms you’ll find the anarchic garage punks Cabbage (yes, that is their name) and the effortlessly cool, bedroom indie rocker Rory Wynne. Both acts you’ll be all too familiar with by summer’s end, with Cabbage in particular set to play more festivals than they have songs. A fellow export of the growing music scene in Stockport, Rory Wynne is indie rocker with an ear for hooky guitar riffs. A self-assured performer, brought up on the best of Oasis and the Stone Roses, Wynne only has one EP and a handful of singles to his name (alongside an appearance on ITV’s Cold Feet) but is certainly one to look out for in the future with his street-smart indie rock tunes sure to soundtrack many a teenage summer. Cabbage on the other hand have built their name on relentless touring and their characteristically chaotic live shows that have had industry experts purring over their potential. A dark, murky sound that has seen them grapple with politics (‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’) and comic mundanity (‘Dinner Lady’), Cabbage are the sort of support act you get there early for, and with BBC Sound of 2017 nomination under their belt are certainly ones to keep an eye on.
For anyone doubting the place of guitar music in 2017, I urge to grab a ticket (if you still can) for what is sure to be a hectic show. Proof that there is more to British music than ginger posers and streetwise North London rappers.
Find tickets to the gig HERE.