Former Marple Sixth Form students sign to Virgin EMI

Blossoms 1001x300Three former Marple Sixth Form students, Tom Ogden, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock form part of the five-piece band Blossoms. The band were voted 4th in the BBC Music, Sound of 2016 list.


Blossoms: from left, Charlie Salt (bass, backing vocals), Josh Dewhurst (lead guitar), Tom Ogden (vocals, guitar), Joe Donovan (drums), Myles Kellock (keyboards). Photograph: Murray Chalmers.

Their music has been described as ‘psych-pop with a 60s edge, drawn from a variety of musical influences including The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and ABBA’.

The group named themselves after the Blossoms pub in Heavily on the A6 They are receiving a lot of airtime at the moment, have signed with Virgin EMI with an album due out in May. Tom Ogden, the bands frontman has a younger brother Ewan, currently with us at Marple Sixth Form College.

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The background
Blossoms are one of the (few) bands in the current Ones to Watch for 2016 lists, and you can see why. They’re unashamedly indie, but they have ambitions to be more pop. You can hear how they’ve developed and progressed since their first two singles – Blow in 2014 and Cut Me and I’ll Bleed in 2015 – on their latest EP, Charlemagne.

They’ve cited as influences everyone from Arctic Monkeys to Abba, which sounds implausible, and the kind of thing young bands say when they’re vying for attention, but it’s actually not that far-fetched. There are keyboard lines here and melodic motifs there that do have the nagging catchiness of the best pop.

Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a big gob. “We want to be as mainstream as Will Smith, as great as the Smiths and as uplifting as Mr Smith Goes to Washington,” they’ve said. “Stockport is within spitting distance of Manchester and this is the type of statement Manchester bands issue, going back to the Smiths, via Oasis and the Stone Roses.”

“Manchester bands don’t speak, they proclaim. They issue statements designed to wind you up.” Their songs include edicts such as “The sun shines out of our behinds” and “I wanna be adored”. Blossoms are bringing back some of this spirit of audacity and misadventure. They’re a little bit psych, it has to be said. Well, a lot. But that’s OK.

“We’re as far away now from the baggy era as Madchester was from the original psychedelic scene, so perhaps it’s time to revisit that spiralling, billowing sound.” But they also have some of the windswept majesty of Liverpudlian bands – it’s probably no coincidence that Blow was produced by the Coral’s James Skelly at Parr St Studios in Liverpool – not to mention some of that city’s pop classicism.

Factor in an organ swirl and you’ve got something the band have termed Ethereal Nostalgic Sonance. Really, they’re just a good old-fashioned guitar band with considerable commercial promise. It’s already working: they’ve sold out Village Underground in London and the Ritz in Manchester and have announced another headline UK tour for early 2016. They’ve played SXSW and shows in Japan and Charlemagne went straight to the top of the iTunes alternative chart following its release in October.