Celebrating the summer release of their second EP In Separation, Liverpool indie rockers Blondes have embarked on their first headline tour, performing an impressive set at Castle Hotel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on the 17th of September.
A truly modern band, the group started when three boys met through Facebook whilst at university (vocalist Will Potter, and guitarists Alex Davidson and Daniel Stroud) and gained notoriety when their single ‘Coming of Age’ was picked up on TikTok for a trend during the Coronavirus pandemic. Since then, they’ve had a few personnel changes, many supporting slots – including a stint opening for Inhaler on their 2021 tour – and enough musical releases to ready the lineup for their very own introductory headline tour.
In the snug, poster-filled green room upstairs, I sat with Blondes before the show and spoke to them about their origins, inspirations, and future plans. Friendly, funny, albeit slightly awkward, they gave the impression of a tight-knit group of schoolmates, wide-eyed and excited about everything happening for them at the moment.
Guitarist Alex tells me that following Inhaler on tour in mid-to-late 2021 was a great experience for the band, as there was a “guaranteed crowd in the room” and it allowed them to get used to larger venues. This, he says humbly, was one of their first opportunities to perform “more as a real band, because all of the other gigs were just at uni.” Another major moment for the band came around this time. Only three days after meeting their current drummer, Blondes supported Stereophonics in Scarborough – an amazing opportunity which Alex tells me was “the biggest gig of [their] lives” and, adorably, that “all [their] parents came” to watch. “For us it was quite a rapid learning experience, going straight out on tour with Inhaler, playing some wildly different venues, going from the open-air theatre to just the back room of a pub in Preston.”
When asked if there were any artists’ careers the group took inspiration from or would like to emulate, the boys deliberated for a minute before Dave informed me very decidedly that “we want to do it our way.” As far as their favourite bands go, Alex tells me that he loved Green Day growing up, and mentioned a handful of contemporary indie outfits such as Wunderhorse, Fontaines D.C and, of course, their now friends and tour-mates Inhaler.
Later on, we managed to catch the second support act, CRYSOMETIMES, a duo who informed the crowd that they had only met a few times by that point. Despite their songs being recent releases that were unknown to the audience, they made a great impression with their understated stage presence and beautifully crafted songs – the lead singer’s soft vocals angelically echoing the likes of Beabadoobee or Clairo.
Walking through the crowd to take the stage, Blondes came on soon after. The crowd, while small in number, gave a concentrated supply of support throughout the show – some of which had even flown from overseas to catch them on their first headline tour. They addressed the crowd as friends, telling anecdotes as they played music new and old. Their memorable guitar riffs gave an air of melancholic yet euphoric nostalgia, with lyrics which could have soundtracked the young, tumultuous lives of any member of the audience. A personal favourite from their recent EP In Separation was ‘Does It Rain on You?’, a track met with emphatic sing-alongs from the crowd.
Previously mentioned influences of Inhaler and Wunderhorse were apparent throughout the set: Blondes are a band that slip seamlessly into, and propel forward, the current indie rock scene. Their stage presence was charmingly unpretentious, with definite room to gain confidence as they grow as a band and get used to their newfound headliner status.
They are an honest, humble group of young lads looking to make exciting music – with lead singer, Will, seeming genuinely moved as he thanked the audience for their support. Blondes are a band that feel genuine, with a loyal, expanding fanbase and a palpable passion for making music, and we can’t wait to see what is next for them.