THE BLINDERS @ THE CELLAR, OXFORD 17/2/18

For any serious, live music junkie, tonight at The Cellar is the place to be to experience earth-quaking bass and scalpel-edged riffs by punk-rockers, The Blinders as they near the end of their first UK headline tour.

Consisting of Will Heason (vocals, guitar), Ollie Roberts (guitar), Will Allen (drums) and Ed Hampson (bass), support comes from indie-upcomers, Brixtons. From the thrashing drums in ‘Ten Minute Chase’ to the short but punchy guitar sections in ‘Worth the Wait’, the Brixton’s are influenced by indie bands like Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks to 90s Britpop legends such as Oasis and Blur.

 

Reminiscing with tales of failed relationships and adolescence, the slow-burning ‘Ollies One for Bullingdon’ wouldn’t sound out of place on the Submarine film soundtrack with its Alex Turner inspired lyrics, “Take me down to the Breakfast Club”. This juxtaposes with ‘Chase the Cat’ as with its suspenseful buildup of light taps of the symbol before exploding into a thrashing climax of thudding drums and overdriven guitars, this track fits more into Palma Violet territory.

 

Considering they are at the early stages of their music careers, with a few more years of building confidence from live performances and time to define and mature their sound, Brixtons are highly promising.

Strolling on stage to ‘Fire’ by Arthur Brown and looking effortlessly cool with his dramatic, smeared eyeliner vocalist, Thomas Haywood rocks The Blinders set into action with ‘ICB Blues’. Beginning with a haunting audio clip of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by a NYPD office in 2014, repeating “I can’t breathe”, ‘ICB Blues’ tackles police brutality and racism. Over a deep, bone-rattling bass, Haywood delivers a powerful commentary on the unfairness of the American police force; “I can use words to legitimise brutality / protect to serve / with a couple of fatalities”, he screams.

Criticising the likes of The Kardashians to Donald Trump, their latest single ‘Brave New World’ is inspired by the anti-utopian novel by Aldous Huxley and explores how dystopian literature is leaking into the modern world. With its red-hot drums and spiky guitars, this is a firm-favourite with moshers who bounce to the aggressive and heavy sound like popcorn in a pan.

Easing off the accelerator slightly, ‘Ramona Flowers’, inspired by the character from the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is as romantic and complimentary as The Blinders get as Haywood shouts, “Impulsive, indecisive / Apathetic but inviting / She’s amazing” over wining guitars.

Having signed with Modern Sky at the beginning of this year and a debut album on the way, 2018 is the year of The Blinders.

Words by Charlotte Miles

@CharlotteMiles7

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