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Photography: John Middleton / johnmiddletonphoto.co.uk/

The Blinders

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  • White Room
  • The K's
I Love Live Events @ Arts Club 29/10/18

Society is under scrutiny tonight. The people in this room are tired of the political state of the world. We sing along to music that encapsulates what it is to stand by your morals and say what many refuse to. With Brazil’s new far-right leader being appointed only yesterday, THE BLINDERS’ musical “fuck you” to societal norms, in the form of their debut album Columbia, packs even more of a punch now than it did upon first listen.

THE K’s explore the monotony of life. Their music seems ill fitting when compared to that of WHITE ROOM and The Blinders. The band certainly retaining more of a mainstream indie vibe than their counterparts tonight. Their biggest hit, Sarajevo, seems to have been on just about every one of my Spotify Daily Mix playlists, and has never been skipped, I can assure you. Instrumentally, the band seem very positive, but their cynical lyrics take you by surprise. Hailing from Earlestown, this band have grown up in the shadows of Manchester and Liverpool, something that could explain their uniquely non-generic, conforming, confusing musical production.

The Blinders Image 3

With his crisp suit, bleached hair and blue eyeshadow, Jake Smallwood steps on stage. White Room’s frontman displays clear evidence Bowie influence. His gruff vocals are complemented by the spacey sounds produced by Josie McNamara (bass, vocals). Together the five piece’s twisted exploration of the landscape they inhabit is captivating. With it being so close to Halloween, it would be ridiculous not to boast of the appropriate nature of their psychedelic, eerie, dystopian tune, Cannibal Song. Everyone is in awe of this twisted cinematic thriller.

The signature black streaks seen on the front cover of Columbia are smeared down Blinders frontman Thomas Haywood’s face. Sexism and toxic masculinity are banned from entering this space, but leftist ideas and forward-thinking politics are very much at home. The Blinders’ new wave political punk tears apart what we as a society accept as norms; they rebuke them. Free The Slave sums them up; they want to reject reality and carve the way for a new world. The song itself is arguably the most powerful comment on society from the music industry since “you are sleeping, you do not want to believe”, once sung by The Smiths and Morrissey. While The Blinders’ chant is certainly less concise than the Mancunian legends’, in today’s political climate, it seems that subtlety will not get you far. Brash actions are needed. This band have witnessed the effects of right-wing politics first hand, hailing from the ex-coal mining town of Doncaster, and their debut album observes not just the struggles close to home, but in every winner-takes-all society around the globe.

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