London’s newest music venue, Lafayette, is box-fresh but designed to transport gig-goers to old-time New Orleans with its wooden ceilings, exposed brickwork and low-lit cocktail bar next door.
With a capacity of 600, it’s the kind of wide space where even if you’re at the back, you’re at the front. It just found room for Stockport indie band Blossoms, the first big name through the door, who were booked for DJ Annie Mac’s AMP series but can command far larger spaces. Last summer, after two albums, they played Stockport County’s football stadium.
Officially a quintet, there were eight musicians crammed in here. It’s debatable whether they really needed two percussionists in addition to drummer Joe Donovan unless they’re planning a new samba direction, but it was a symbol of significance. If you can afford to employ someone on full-time egg shakers, you are officially power players.
Now on their third album and their second number one, they had more than enough big songs to make their time fly by. Baby-faced frontman Tom Ogden brimmed with confidence, which he should as the originator of such irresistable tunes as breakthrough hit Charlemagne and the breezy I Can’t Stand It.
Their unfancy home town and unpretentious manner has seen Blossoms shoved in the line of northern lad bands that stretches from The Stone Roses to Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and beyond. The core of bouncing blokes down the front suggested that is their rightful place, but the frothy synths of Honey Sweet and danceable bass on Your Girlfriend offered something else. The upbeat shimmer of Oh No (I Think I’m in Love) sounded like Swedish pop band The Cardigans.
They might well be more than they seem. With three bigger London shows to come this month, there are multiple opportunities to make sure.