By Ryan Wallace
After forming in late 2014 and releasing a steady streak of singles since then, The Blinders found success in September this year upon the release of their debut full-length, Columbia. However, whilst the record has garnered a mass of attention towards the band, witnessing their live performance at The Cluny made it evident that their first album can only account for half of their intrigue and subsequent popularity.
Opening the night was local indie rock outfit Baltic. With their light hearted sound, the quartet provided a set of fun modern indie tracks, including their Spotify hit, Bleak. Following Baltic were Calva Louise, a lo-fi bubble gum punk trio from London. Pushing forward a sound that fuses buzzing guitars with terrifyingly beautiful harmonies, they gave The Cluny’s atmosphere a taste of vibrancy and colour before the black and white psychedelia of The Blinders kicked in.
Marking a stage presence similar to that of a younger incarnation of Arthur Brown, singer/guitarist Thomas Haywood brought a ferociously primal atmosphere to the Cluny’s tight crowd quarters. Coupled with tight yet frenetic performances from bassist Charlie McGough and drummer Matthew Neale, the band powered through new album tracks such as the punk fuelled Hate Song and bouncing folk tune Rat In A Cage. In addition to showcasing their new stuff, the boys performed past singles such as Brave New World and Ramona Flowers.
Seemingly pulling a range of influences from artists going as far as The Fall to The Black Angels to Bob Dylan, the trio provided an aura of gritty punk energy infused with a darkened psychedelic overlay, marking a triumphant statement of their sound and style upon the Geordie audience.
The band’s ability to keep their influences of punk, psychedelic rock and folk going at full speed whilst still keeping up a level of energy and ferocity throughout the gig makes The Blinders a standout amongst current modern indie rock contemporaries.
This only makes it all the more exciting to see what they do next with their sound and their live performances.