Live review: Blossoms @ O2 Academy Sheffield 2020

In a time of a global pandemic and uncertainty, Stockport’s Blossoms treated the sold out crowd at Sheffield’s O2 Academy to a set packed full of uplifting, 80s-inspired indie pop hits.

Their third album, Foolish Loving Spaces, sees the band buck the trend of an indie band. They’re getting bigger, more popular and are releasing more and more crossover hits that find a space on a Radio 1 playlist as well as the alternative music stations. They’ve always been a confident bunch, but their live show is becoming more refined and professional – so much so that it certainly feels like this could be the last time we saw them in such an intimate venue.

But for now, we can enjoy a setlist full of songs that wouldn’t be out of place at the Roxy all those years ago. Two huge singles from the last two albums open the show, ‘Your Girlfriend’ and ‘There’s A Reason Why’, ensuring an explosive start to the show. It is quite amusing to see the indie kids down at the front, moshing around ‘Getaway’ and ‘Honey Sweet’ – songs written sweetly about pining for love. Blossoms are in top form throughout, segueing from one tune to another. Tom Ogden’s charisma grows with each passing gig – at one point he actually slut drops at the end of a tune.

Image: Kevin Wells

A highlight of the show is their new single ‘The Keeper’, written with a huge, uplifting chorus that is reminiscent of a gospel song. The main set finishes with the usual ‘My Favourite Room’ scenario. Frontman Tom Ogden, donning the acoustic guitar, leads the crowd through this heartbreaker of a tune, and enters into a medley of ‘Half The World Away’ and ‘You’re Gorgeous’ – something that has always been a highlight of a Blossoms gig.

A sure-bet for their next single, ‘Falling For Someone’ opens the encore before two crowd-pleasers close the gig in emphatic fashion with ‘At Most A Kiss’ and ‘Charlemagne’. The latter was the hit single that catapulted the band to the higher reaches of indie music – before, it was a little more sleazy and little more raw, something you can hear in the likes of ‘Blow’. Whilst the band’s newer songs seem more fresh and generally better than the more disco-inspired ‘Charlemagne’, it seems fitting to keep it as a set closer.

With one of their biggest gigs to date coming at the end of the month at Manchester Arena, Blossoms are readying for the step up and can’t be long before we saw them headline festival’s like Tramlines, Kendal Calling and Y Not.

Image: Kevin Wells 

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