After settling in Manchester from their native Doncaster, THE BLINDERS have gained a reputation with an explosive live show and a formidable debut album. SOUNDS sat with Thomas Haywood, Charlie McGough and Matt Neale to talk about missing Glastonbury to play with Noel Gallagher, not being part of a scene and moving to LA to get fat.
Meeting SOUNDS writer Andrew Cassidy in the Northern Quarter of Manchester – their adopted home, The Blinders have just returned from America’s SXSW which has helped launch the likes of The White stripes and Amy Winehouse and it seems like they fell in love with the place.
“Yeah, I don’t think we really knew what to expect when we went over there. It was certainly different to what we’d imagined but 100% worth doing. Yeah. It’s an experience, we’re still quite bluesy about the whole idea of being back in England to be honest. It’s just too much, it’s a different world out there but in terms of the festival itself, you know, if you get offered to do it then 100% you do it if you can have a financial backing for it, definitely it was quite the experience.” Despite playing three shows in as many days they found their shows infested with industry types too cool to really let loose, “In some of the industry slots, you know, it’s a little difficult to play up to it because he stood to a lot of people tapping the foot but when we played the second night and it was a lot less industry and it erupted.”
It’s this brand of enticing and energetic rock and roll that’s won over Manchester music royalty past and present with their slots at Blossoms huge Stockport county homecoming gig this summer and even more impressively supporting Noel Gallagher at Powderham Castle in Exeter, although the gig does cause some trouble for bass player Charlie who’s at Glastonbury that weekend and will sadly have to miss Kylie Minogue in the legends slot.
The Blinders came to everyone’s attention in 2016 with their ‘Hidden Horrors Dance’ EP, a heavy but melodic sound reminiscent of times gone by, when the guitar meant something and attitude even more. Two more singles followed (Swine and Ramona flowers) establishing them as one of the most talked about bands in the country. Moving to a city with a steep musical heritage, the band don’t feel tied into any stereotypes or scenes. “There’s not a real scene we fit into, I think we’ve always sort of floated in our own orbit you know, not egotistically but in the sense that there’s no bands that we really latch onto or bands that latch onto us. I think maybe with the sort of aggression that we’ve got, we write music around lyrics so we push lyrics further, you know, even more aggressively so that we could write heavier music.” As one of the shining lights within bands taking a stance politically in a divisive time in Britain he continues “I think people should write what they want to write, but if a band is wanting to write something like that but are afraid of the backlash or the consequences subtlety is there for a reason, like a lot of people will miss messages, but some people won’t and you can be confident in yourself”
Their latest single ‘Rat in a cage’ is what the whole country needs right now considering the state that we are in ‘come together we need each other’ they cry out during the chorus and the message wasn’t lost when writing the song, “I mean there were a lot of influencing factors when writing, the tune was written in about an hour whilst we were at the studio and we recognised that the album was taken quite a defeatist tone. So I felt like we needed to plug a hole somewhere and give the album some sort of happy ending”
After an impressive 2018 they are already working on the follow up to ‘Columbia’, “We’re writing at the moment, we’re almost pushing on album three and that is really difficult as a writer because you’re desperate to get these albums out, you know, if we didn’t release Columbia when we did, the second album would probably be really frustrating”.
“I think looking to the future that’s probably a good thing because it would allow us to maybe move shop to London, or even go and get fat in America and smoke loads of dope”