OUR entertainment reporter, Abi White, once again spoke with Stockport-born band Blossoms prior to their Leeds Festival 2016 set. Judo Nans, festival food and inspirational words from Rihanna were amongst the conversation topics…
Making their second appearance at the Festival this year, the band have undoubtedly taken a step-up since their performance last year on the Festival Republic stage to the NME/Radio 1 stage.
“We’re on a bigger stage and our debut album is out so people know a lot more songs and that’s kind of the biggest difference we’ve seen,” front man, Tom Ogden admitted.
“Our approach is the same though. We’ve done a lot more festivals this year so we’re probably a lot tighter.”
Growing in popularity also has many perks, in which the band continued: “We’re on a tour bus this year with beds so that’s a big step-up. We get sorted out with beer and can have a shower!”
Catching up with the band on the last day of Leeds Festival, it only felt appropriate to push them on how they felt Reading and Leeds compared…
“It was absolutely rammed,” Ogden explained. “People were spilling out of the tent and the crowd was really good.”
“I didn’t want it to end,” bassist Charlie Salt added. “It was a really good set.”
When asked what their expectations of Leeds Festival were in comparison, the band were anticipating an even better reaction.
Actions such as kicking drum kits and getting in trouble from security were among the antics from last year’s performance, including an unfortunate fate for one of Myles Kellock’s keyboards…
“Last year it was so good that I threw my keyboard on the floor…” Kellock began. “I immediately regretted it.”
“There are a lot of health and safety problems that I wasn’t very impressed with… I’m hoping they might perhaps behave better this year…” guitarist Josh Dewhurst pointed out.
“Up North you have that little vibe for northern bands and take them in as your own,” Ogden added.
However, it isn’t difficult to take the band in as your own given their down to earth and welcoming nature.
Drummer Joe Donovan proceeded to compliment my rounded sunglasses that my grandma bought for me, and we found ourselves having a conversation about Kellock’s aptly named ‘Judo Nan.’
“Her first name is June, but I call her Nan,” Kellock laughed. “She’s really good at Judo, she’s like a Judo Master because she’s taught it for about 30 years.”
Donavan became intrigued: “Has she ever busted any moves on you?” he asked.
“I’ve seen her do some stretches but I’m not flexible enough,” Kellock confessed. “I might have to get her to teach me some moves when I get back because it might be my hidden talent and I too could be a Judo Master.”
Considering that the band have been covering festivals since May there were sure to be a moment, or countless, that stood out.
“We played Great Escape in May and it has literally been non-stop since then, I think we’ve done about 42,” Ogden commented.
Playing in Romania, Japan, Korea and performing at Kendal Calling as well as YNOT Festival were some favourite performances the band enjoyed over the summer.
“You know what, they’ve all been good,” Dewhurst added.
Covering multiple festivals over the summer has also been a learning curve for the band.
“We realised you can get more of a vibe in a tent,” Salt mentioned. “Especially at our stage – you don’t want to peak too soon.”
“Like Arctic Monkeys could go straight on the Main Stage and it would be mint,” Donavon added. “Not that we don’t want to be on Main Stage, but we want to do it when the time is right.”
The band also described tent performances as more intimate, adding that the lights look better and “you can smell the grass better and the sweat of the people more.
“And my glasses fall off my face from sweat,” Donavon nicely added.
Considering that the band has been soaking up the talent at Reading and Leeds Festival, in-between performances they managed to catch live sets from Foals, Disclosure and The Courteeners to name a few.
“We also saw a band from Leeds called DUSK,” the band told, “I hope things go really well for them.”
“Oh My God, can anyone smell bacon?” Donavon interrupted.
Food then became the topic of conversation, and the band told me their little anecdote of how their “merchandise guy saw Morrisey last week and became a vegetarian. He got hammered last night and gave in to a lasagne…”
“Oh for f**k’s sake they’ve got them carrot chips here,” Ogden commented, before he was quickly corrected by Salt: “You mean sweet potato fries…”
“Jack Carrot chips!!” Ogden excitably laughed at his pun of singer-songwriter’s name ‘Jack Garratt’.
“We actually saw him before having a cup of tea.”
Drawing the conversation back to the band, having come on and developed so much the only way to throw it forward was the future. What exactly does it hold for the Stockport boys?
“Touring, touring, touring and writing songs for what will be our second album,” Ogden said. “Work, work, work, work, work in the words off Rihanna.”
“And there’s no better word to go off to be honest.”
By Abi White