November 17, 2022

Blossoms at the Portsmouth Guildhall in UK

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The English pop band from Stockport gave an extraordinary show last night!

People outside of the UK think it’s always raining in England, but that’s not really true…except tonight, when it’s pouring down over Portsmouth just before Blossoms plays their 5th out of 23 UK & Ireland dates on their “Ribbon Around the Bomb” tour.

They are playing at the Portsmouth Guildhall, which is part of the “Halls” family of music venues (the other family being former Theatres, like Shepherds Bush or Brixton Academy).

The band has been playing a core of 3 songs from their latest album and seemingly testing audience reaction to a further 3. Presumably in preparation for the big tour finale in Manchester. Will they play any more from their new record? Read on to find out…
Blossoms - Photo: Daniel Ramirez UK

Trying New Songs

Blossoms came out at 9 PM sharp with “There’s a reason why (I never returned your calls)” from their 2018 “Cool Like You” album, quickly followed by “Honey Sweet”, from their 2016 debut “Blossoms”. They then followed with a couple of songs from their third LP, 2020’s “Foolish Loving Spaces”. It is here, after 4 songs, that they play the first couple of songs from their new material: “Ode to NYC” and “The Sulking Poet”. Checking the setlist from their previous 4 gigs, I can see that they’ve been consistently playing these two songs, plus “Care For”. But I can also see that they’ve been trying at least one extra song at each location: “Everything About You” in Nottingham, “Born Wild” in Cambridge and “Visions”, which is the one they try here.
Blossoms - Photo: Daniel Ramirez UK
 
I for one am not so happy about this, as I always like to hear the latest songs. From today’s set I missed “Ribbon Around the Bomb”, the title song of the album, as well as those other two songs that they played in Nottingham and Cambridge. I’d rather they make space for these in their set instead of playing the old favourites. Alternatively, they could play for a bit longer…which is my other niggle with Blossoms: they tend to play short sets. At an average of about 1 hour and 20 minutes, theirs is shorter than what I consider “the norm” of playing closer to the 2-hour mark.

No skimping here

But enough of my nit-picking: Blossoms are a great band to watch live, and they don’t skimp onstage, bringing with them a couple of percussionists and an extra guitarist to ensure they sound live as rich as on their records. Portsmouth’s Guildhall is a great place for the audience to watch bands up-close. Partly because of it being a plain hall, but also because Portsmouth is a small city at only 2% the size of London. This meant that I was able to be really close to the band and appreciate the energy that they bring to the stage.

Blossoms - Photo: Daniel Ramirez UK

Visions to End

And so, after 1 hour on stage, and after singing “My Favourite Room” by himself with an acoustic guitar, Tom Ogden left the stage. The requisite few minutes passed, and the band came back out to close with the trio of “Visions” (from the new album!), “Your Girlfriend” and “Charlemagne”.

All in all, I’m very fortunate to be able to see Blossoms live when most of the World can’t. If they stop by your city, or if you can make the trip to a nearby gig, I wholeheartedly recommend you go see them!

Blossoms - Photo: Daniel Ramirez UK

Set List at the Portsmouth Guildhall

  1. There’s a Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)
  2. Honey Sweet
  3. Oh No (I Think I’m in Love)
  4. The Keeper
  5. Ode to NYC
  6. The Sulking Poet
  7. I Can’t Stand It
  8. If You Think This Is Real Life
  9. Cut Me and I’ll Bleed
  10. Care For
  11. How Long Will This Last?
  12. Getaway
  13. At Most a Kiss
  14. My Swimming Brain
  15. My Favourite Room

Encore

  1. Visions
  2. Your Girlfriend
  3. Charlemagne

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