There’s a very special Glastonbury phenomenon that only happens about once a year. It occurs when a promising indie band gets the chance to play one of the festival’s biggest stages. A huge audience is drawn in – much bigger than the band are used to playing for – and at first they’re hesistant. They probably don’t know the songs that well, or at all, and there’s a general air of growing critical judgement. This period is usually marked by a lot of chin-stroking, both metaphorically and literally. Nobody’s dancing. But then – if the band play it just right – the mood changes. A head nod here, a hip wiggle there. By the end of the set, everyone’s dancing and the band have won over several thousand new disciples.
This year, the band who performed this ritual act of magic were Stockport five-piece Blossoms. Playing early in the afternoon on Friday on the Other Stage, they had the good fortune to follow a masterclass in indie stardom from near Mancunian neighbours James, a band they’d do well to emulate. Right from opener ‘Cut Me And I’ll Bleed’, the band showed absolutely no nerves about making their Glastonbury debut on one of the festival’s biggest stages. Indeed, frontman Tom Ogden even wore pristine white trousers – about as brave a stagewear decision as you can make in this year’s muddy conditions.
They swaggered through ‘At Most A Kiss’, and third track ‘Smoke’ finished Tom Ogden doing his best Liam Gallagher impression, singing: “Hello… hello… hello”. The high water mark of the set was the sublime solo acoustic opening to slower track: ‘My Favourite Room’. Before the song, Ogden joked “I usually say at this point: ‘You’re my favourite room’, but seeing as this is a massive festival I’ll say: ‘You’re my favourite festival.’” – a nod to the fact that Blossoms are currently more used to playing indoor venues the size of Edinburgh’s The Liquid Room or London’s Oslo than to fields full of thousands.
Having now completely won over the crowd, by the time Ogden announced that they only had a couple of songs left to play, there was an audible and heartfelt groan from the audience. They closed with a winning cover of The Bangles’ ‘Manic Monday’ – giving the crowd their much-wanted singalong moment – and then their own ‘Charlemagne’, another highlight and the moment when the crowd’s head nodding and hip-swivelling ticked over into full-blown dancing.
Last year, Catfish and the Bottlemen played a similar slot on the Other Stage early on Friday afternoon and just twelve months later find themselves elevated way up the bill. We’ll see whether Blossoms can pull off a similar meteoric rise over the next few months, but for now they’re undoubtedly a band in bloom.
Watch Blossoms, Bastille and Two Door Cinema Club