Photo – Opening band The America’s
The Blinders are a young, three-piece outfit from Doncaster, now based in Manchester. The line-up includes Front-man Thomas Haywood (Vocals/Guitar), Charlie Mc Gough (Bass Guitar) and Matt Neale (Drums/Percussion).
The band have already had national airplay on Chris Hawkins BBC 6 Radio and on John Kennedy’s Exposure show on Radio X, and are on the cusp of stardom.
The Blinders music-influences crosses many genres, including: The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Punk, John Cooper Clarke and Glam Rock, but make no mistake; this is not a derivative band. Instead, The Blinders use these influences as a starting point, to unleash their unique brand of Punkadelic music; a unique hybrid of Punk mixed with Psychadelic Poetry.
Opening Track “Gotta Get Through” features a heavy Led Zeppelin style guitar riff, mixed with the retro Glam Rock sound of The Darkness. Frontman Haywood wears Kiss-style eye-makeup, and his frenetic guitar and vocals recall that genre. From the off, the band had the crowd eating out of their hand.
“Swine” came next, with its lower vocal-tone, showcasing lead-singer Haywood’s versatile vocal range. The track has a Doors vibe, and Haywood’s stage-presence recalls Jim Morrison, with his confrontational stare into the audience and his anthemic, direct vocals. Mc Gough on Bass, utilises a Blues Heavy Rock guitar and together with Neale on drums, harmonised perfectly, and the band are a tight unit.
“L’Etat C’est Moi” features a heavy bass, and rhythmic, hypnotic drumming to seamlessly showcase Haywood’s visceral, political punk-rock lyrics, culminating in a turbulent thrash-down guitar chorus.
“ICB Blues” has a distinct Artic Monkeys feel and is a raucous rock track. Guitarist Haywood owns the stage at this point, and fully embodies his guitar and the music, with a fabulous instinctive stage-interplay with Mc Gough.
“Brave New World” is a definite crowd-pleasing track, with its 60’s throwback sound and is a hybrid of the American West-Coast sound of The Doors, fused with the accessible Glam Rock sound of UK band, The Darkness.
“Hate Song” has a resonant Rock guitar and promotes the afore-mentioned Punkadelic sound. The Blinders showcase their unique talent and experience here; they play with their heart and their head, and sound like seasoned musicians, which contradicts their youth.
“Rat In A Cage” opens with a dynamic guitar-riff, before mutating into a psychedelic fusion guitar, which was adored by the appreciative audience who ranged in age from predominantly twenty-somethings upwards. The chorus ascends into pure rock-driven guitar, mirroring the controversial and provocative lyrics such as; “She makes you happy to be sad” and “I’ll be your plaything”.
“Ramona Flowers” features a medley of guitar sounds ranging in style and tempo, to reflect the differing lyrics delivered by vocalist Haywood, that recall the spoken poetry of John Cooper Clarke.
Closing track “Et Tu Brutus/ Berlin Wall” was a fitting climax to this raucous, energetic gig. The track can be described as Post-Apocalyptic Punk; and the socio-political vocals are acerbic and biting in nature, such as; “Our voices count for nothing” mirrored by choppy guitar riffs and heavy steady drumming.
The Blinders are a definite must-see band and are already creating a buzz within the Music Industry. Rightly so.
Writer: Siane Daley
Photography: Jeff Moh
Gotta Get Through
L’Etat C’est Moi
Brave New World
Rat in a Cage
Et Tu Brutus/Berlin Wall