Monday, February 06, 2017
Live Review :: The Blinders :: Hope & Ruin, Brighton - Feb 4 2017
Hope & Ruin, Brighton
February 4 2017
Words: Alison Mack
Pictures: Stephen Willcox
If you haven't yet heard of the three-piece alt-rock group The Blinders (originally from Doncaster, now decamped to Manchester), then it probably won't be long before you won't be able to get away from seeing their name plastered everywhere.
Tonight they head down and rock up in Brighton to a sold out gig as part of their run of 'Big In 2017' shows for promoter This Feeling - and where, despite a (relatively minor) guitar technical problem and forgetting where they were and referring to the seaside town they were in as Bristol, they played well, a blinder of a show.
From the moment they take to the stage to the closing minutes, The Blinders have the air of confidence that befits their youthful buzz and devil-may-care attitude, and they whip up energy like tornadoes. But below the visual flair the songs themselves are tight and sharp tongued in that angry punk style that oozes a passion to espouse what they believe in.
Last year's debut single 'Swine' explodes with all the ferocious in-your-face aural swagger as can be mustered, with the guitars of vocalist Thomas Heywood and bassist Charlie McGough checking rhythms against Matt Neale's drums in a thundering blast of menace. 'Brutus' strikes a dark, mesmerising force. 'Murder At The Ballet' discharges not blood on the dancefloor, but a flow of red pent-up fever. Even the guitar malfunction towards the end produces a clever get out with Heywood delivering a spoken word prose cover of Cabbage's 'Necroflat In The Palace'.
Heywood, decked out in shaggy wool coat which is soon removed to display skinny bare chest with 'SURVIVE ?' scrawled over his pectals, dominates the stage like a cross between Yak's Oli Burslem and The 1975's Matt Healy: part dangerous and exciting, part sensuous and engaging; while the music is a combination of Brighton locals Royal Blood, fused with a touch of Arctic Monkeys and delivered with the intensity of The Clash.
The Blinders make you feel like you're witnessing something important. And you probably are.