In partnership with VO5
Earlier this month (March 16), the VO5 NME Awards Tour hit the road. Its first stop was Keele University, where 1100 fans were treated to a night of big hooks, big attitude and plenty of moshing.
After a phenomenal 2016, Blossoms are headlining the tour, recreating the slick indie-pop of their chart-topping self-titled debut album. Alongside them are Cabbage, the heirs to Fat White Family‘s scuzzy throne, and 17-year-old prodigy Rory Wynne, making for a brilliant and very, very sweaty night.
1VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Keele University was the location for the first night of this year’s VO5 NME Awards tour, bringing together three of the north west’s finest new acts.
2VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
First up, 17-year-old Rory Wynne showcased his prodigious talents with songs like ‘In The Dark’. “Who’s excited for me?” he asked the crowd after asking the same question about his two tourmates. “Was I the loudest?” he commented deadpan.
3VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Wynne’s set was full of attitude from his chat to the songs themselves. That was made clear on ‘After Me’, one of the highlights of his performance, which contains the line “You are the second greatest thing in the universe after me.”
4VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Cabbage’s frontman Lee Broadbent broke his pubic rami a few days before the tour kicked off, leaving him wheelchair-bound for their set.
5VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
The band didn’t let that stop them from getting the Keele audience going, though, with Broadbent kicking drummer Asa Morley’s cymbals and occasionally hauling himself to his feet.
6VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Guitarist Joe Martin took over vocal duties for two songs – ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’ and ‘Dinner Lady’, the latter of which features the now infamous “To combat this state I had a wank in the quiche” lyric.
7VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
The Clash-style stomp of the five-piece’s ode to the NHS, ‘Necroflats In The Palace’, provoked a mini circle pit in the crowd – a sign of things to come in Blossoms’ set.
8VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Just before the chart-topping indie-pop band took to the stage, the three groups posed for a celebratory first night of tour photo.
9VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Blossoms came on stage to Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’, the lights set up on stage flashing in time to its beat.
10VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
The band opened with ‘At Most A Kiss’ and ‘Texia’, before frontman Tom Ogden led the crowd in a singalong of ‘Blow’.
11VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Ahead of ‘Fourteen’, Ogden dedicated the track to former Arsenal footballer Thierry Henry. Shortly after, he also dedicated ‘My Favourite Room’, which he performed by himself on an acoustic guitar, to a fan called Chloe, fitting her name into the song at several points.
12VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
After a solo acoustic medley including ‘Half The World Away’ and ‘Last Christmas’, the band took a brief break before returning for a four song encore.
13VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
Single ‘Charlemagne’ closed the night, with fans forming a giant circle pit and moshing wildly as soon as the track began.
14Blossoms fans in Birmingham
Over in Birmingham a fortnight later, fans turned up at the O2 Academy in their droves to witness the chaos for themselves. Some, including these three, took home a special souvenir of the night.
Image-conscious gig-goers headed to VO5’s style boxes where they could get their hair done ahead of a night of moshing.
Rory Wynne and his band once again opened proceedings, strutting their way through 17-year-old Wynne’s snarling indie gems.
Cabbage appeared sans frontman Lee Broadbent’s wheelchair with the singer feeling well enough to prowl around the stage once more.
As in Keele, guitarist and vocalist Joe Martin got intimate with the band’s rowdy fans.
Blossoms, the main attraction of the tour, took things up a notch as the night wore on, bringing an air of slick showmanship to the venue.
Alongside songs from their self-titled debut album, the band aired a handful of b-sides such as ‘Smoke’ in their hour-long set.
Frontman Tom Ogden led the audience in individual rounds of applause for each of his bandmates throughout the set, while he also tried to conduct some of the crowd’s many moshpits, with varying results.
22VO5 NME Awards Tour – Keele University
The VO5 NME Awards Tour continues tonight (March 30) in Leeds. The remaining dates are as follows:
Leeds, O2 Academy (March 30)
Newcastle, O2 Academy (March 31)
Glasgow, O2 Academy (April 1)
Remaining tickets can be purchased here.