Review – The Blinders bring a new wave of carnage to the streets of Birmingham
Last week we ventured off the beaten track in search of the best live music around. Our journey took us deep inside Birmingham to the area of Moseley and a little old place called The Castle and Falcon. Inside, one of the country’s most exciting new bands, The Blinders, were in town and ready to cause some carnage to a sold-out crowd.
The venue itself is full of character, this quirky, old school pub looks far from a tried and tested venue but as we venture through the door and head towards the back of the space, we begin to be transported into a long, rectangular room that’s fully kitted out for bands to blast out the tunes.
Support for the evening came from two local bands, Paper Buoys and The Mothers Earth Experiment, who both proved that they will be ones to look out for with incredible performances. They were followed by three piece, Calva Louise, who unleashed a tirade of hook-filled, high-energy, fuzzy surf rock from their upcoming debut album ‘Rhinoceros’.
By 10pm the sold-out crowd had fully packed themselves in. It was time for The Blinders to take to the stage but before they did the PA blasted out the bands poem, ‘Welcome to Columbia’. This piece is designed to detail the fictional state of The Blinders debut album. It’s oppressive themes are deeply rooted in the reality of the world we live in right now.
Suddenly appearing from the shadows was front-man, Thomas Haywood, who arrived sporting his trademark black face paint. Covering his eyes and upper cheeks, this looks feels like he’s ready for battle, a sign for the troops in the audience to be ready for war. This also acts as the bands the bold cover statement for their album.
The set opened at a frantic pace with the wailing guitar of album opener ‘Gotta Get Through’, a pace which rarely relented throughout. Highly charged vocals cut to the core, whilst the constant thud of grungy bass riffs and pounding drums acted as the bands spine, propping them up like all solid rhythm sections do.
Tom lunged round the stage, endlessly wrestling his guitar, technicians had to repeatedly appear on stage to catch falling mic-stands and sooth aching equipment and while other album big guns like ‘L’Etat C’est Moi’ and ‘Brave New World’ whipped the crowd into a frenzy, the highlight of the night was the performance of non-album single ‘Ramona Flowers’ and it’s slow, methodical and some what sinister flow.
It was a night of intense and loud alternative rock music from some of the best up and coming bands around. It was a late finish and luckily my friend drove so there was no danger of missing the last train home, but I’d have happily walked back home than miss a second of that performance.
Written by Tom Godwin. Photographed by Tom Russell.