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Blossoms live in Brighton: Stockport’s favourite sons head to the seaside

As Blossoms head to the South Coast, they live up to the storied reputation of the Brighton Dome in pop history.

4.0 rating

By Nick Reilly

Blossoms frontman Tom Ogden (Picture: Ewan Ogden)

Few bands are better placed to appreciate the storied history of The Brighton Dome than Blossoms. This is the seaside venue where ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, a launchpad which allowed them to go on and become one of the most influential pop groups of all time.

In 2022, Blossoms are the group wearing that influence proudly on their sleeves within UK Pop. Their first three albums saw them heavily dabbling in the Swedish group’s disco-primed synths, while a pre-show photo before tonight’s gig sees them recreating a photo of ABBA outside the venue before their Eurovision triumph.

As they stroll on stage, it’s ever present in the band’s snappy dress sense too. Lead singer Tom Ogden is a throwback to the 70s in flares, cuban heels and an open-necked silk shirt, while the rest of the group could easily convince a passing bystander they’ve just left a high-end fashion shoot.

Those synths are evident from the off as the group start the show with the rousing strains of ‘At Most A Kiss’ – an enduring fan favourite from their self-titled 2016 debut LP. It sets the tone for the night – a run through the eclectic and ever catchy discography that has allowed them to bag three Number One albums since 2016.

An early run-through of ‘Ode To NYC’ sees Ogden revealing how the track, which featured on their latest album Ribbon Around The Bomb was originally commissioned as the theme tune for a Netflix show set in the Big Apple. When a producer decided they wouldn’t be using it, the band decided it was too good to ditch for good. Their faith in it has paid off – it adds a welcome Harry Nillsson-esque dimension to the band’s live shows.

Blossoms live in Brighton (Picture: Ewan Ogden)

The rest of the show sees Ogden showing off his chops as a great frontman. He previously told Rolling Stone UK how he once doubted his abilities as a bandleader, but he’s on top form tonight, stalking the stage with an Alex Turner-esque intensity that keeps the audience under his command.

If one criticism is to be made, it is that of the audience itself. While it’s inevitable that bigger tracks such as the disco-funk of ‘My Girlfriend’ and breakout single ‘Charlemagne’ will ignite the night’s biggest reactions, an audience in the Dome’s upper circle remains largely seated throughout – a far cry from the party-starting Friday night vibes that the group undeniably deserve.

Still, it’s a show which proves in spades why Blossoms are one of the UK’s most consistently impressive live acts, with an untold ability to dish out out gargantuan pop hooks that sound just as good live as they do on their records. It’s no wonder they’re set to conclude this tour with four sold out dates at Manchester’s O2 Apollo. ABBA, you sense, would surely approve.