Blossoms + Declan McKenna + Cabbage @ 02 Institute, 23rd September 2016

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Opening for Blossoms this evening were Play & Record Records Cabbage, a post-punk band originating from Manchester. Finding themselves producing a sound not too far thrown from Palma Violets, the band do well to entertain the ever growing crowd.

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Lead vocalist Lee Broadbent donning denim dungarees spends the majority of the set stalking along the front row of the crowd, whilst performing tracks such as ‘Kevin’ and ‘Dinner Lady’. It’s a confusing and seemingly off the cuff performance, but one that proves highly entertaining and to a point dangerous in comparison to the rest of the acts across the evening.

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Next up in Columbia Records Declan McKenna, a 17 year old British singer songwriter who shot to popularity after winning the Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition in 2015 which saw him play a slot on the William’s Green stage. From scouring online sources, it would seem that McKenna has been making quite an impression over in the States whilst also touring over on these shores with a series of high profile support slots of which this evening could be considered one.

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In terms of song writing there’s no doubt of McKenna’s ability for a catchy tune, however after the engaging performance provided by Cabbage, this performance seems to lack a sense of excitement. Songs such as ‘Brazil’ and ‘Bethlehem’ are more than a pleasure to hear live, backed by a very talented female based backing band.

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There’s no doubt that McKenna possesses something that the mainstream will embrace with open arms however tonight is possibly not the audience to showcase that in front of.

Headlining this evening are indie pop band Blossoms, currently touring in support of their debut self-titled record released on Virgin EMI. Formed in 2013, the band secured a Number One album in the UK after support slots from the likes of The Charlatans and The Courteeners.

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It’s The Courteeners that perhaps echo in both the bands performance and music, being very keyboard led for an indie band. Opening with ‘At Most A Kiss’ the band run through the majority of their debut record, with tracks such as ‘Honey Sweet’, ‘Getaway’ and ‘My Favourite Room’ providing massive sing-along’s. The latter sees the band play snippets of Babybirds ‘You’re Gorgeous’ and Oasis’s ‘Half The World Away’ in what could perhaps be argued is a reference to their roots.

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Upon the closing notes of ‘Charlemagne’ with the whole crowd bouncing and singing in unison, there’s no reason why this band couldn’t reach the heights of indie stardom of their predecessors.

Blossoms Setlist:

At Most A Kiss

Cut Me And I’ll Bleed


Smashed Pianos


Honey Sweet

Blown Rose

My Favourite Room


Across The Moor

Deep Grass



Review: Dan Earl

Photographs: Chris Bowley

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