The Blinders + The Ninth Wave @ O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK – 26th April 2019

Review and photography by Robert Barrett

It’s not often that Birmingham gets the opening night of the tour, so when it does happen it’s an unmissable occasion. thankfully Doncaster’s finest The Blinders chose Birmingham for the kick off of their 2019 UK and Europe dates. Just like Birmingham’s own Peaky Blinders this gang are not to be messed with, they have already proved themselves a formidable live band with the tunes to back them up. Now it was time for them to be unleashed onto Digbeth.

The Ninth Wave were the support act for the evening. Their eclectic brand of post punk went down well, with passionate performances from both leads singers Hayden and Millie. They seemed a natural fit for supporting The Blinders, they are a band to keep a close eye on over the next few years.

The room was lit a blood red colour as the set began, the pre show soundboard played like an ancient radio broadcast. Clips rattling off topics such as Brexit, poverty and social injustice blared out over static. Finally the haunting sounds of air raid sirens blared out  as they walked on stage. It was a bold statement,  the kind that the band seem to revel in. Frontman Tom donned smeared black makeup across his face, looking like he was ready for gang warfare. The ferocity of first track ‘Gotta Get Through’ set the precedent for what was to come, with drinks flying in every direction. ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Ramona Flowers’ gave the mosh pit no breathing space.

Their debut album ‘Columbia’ had a full outing, every song packing the same punch it as on record. A brutal live rendition of ‘Rat In a Cage’ caused chaos in the crowd. Followed by ‘Et Tue’ which had everyone singing its chorus. For a band with such a recent debut album it was impressive just how familiar the audience were with the songs. The high energy of the band never let up, an endless mosh pit was present the whole time.

Punters were left in a sweaty writhing mess by the time the band had finished. Sweat seemed to cover half the stage as well. With such honed live performance chops, it’s fascinating to watch them create a more theatrical gig, without losing any of the raw energy. If you’re looking for a more exciting British rock band, look no further. By order of the Blinders grab a ticket, you won’t be disappointed.

(The original version of this article was first published on Gigjunkies

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