Gig review: The Blinders at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

There’s strength in numbers and The Blinders appear to have used lockdown to secure new recruits, growing from a three to a five-piece, benefitting from the intensified depth that additional guitars and keyboards bring.

The Blinders at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds. Picture: David Hodgson

Bursting onto the scene in 2018 with their unrestrained rock debut Columbia, followed up two years later with the more reserved Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath, the core of the band but directionally and musically remain lead singer and guitarist Thomas Haywood and bassist Charlie McGough.

The energy is infectious, McGough’s dancing, Haywood throwing his body and guitar over the stage, the Brudenell platform really needed to be many more times bigger to contain them.

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The debut album tracks still pack the most punch, Brave New World and Et Tu resulting in flying limbs in the mosh pit which had started on track three Lunatic (With a Loaded Gun) and continued unabated for the following hour.

What the tracks from Fantasies… do provide is a degree of respite from the frenetic set, Haywood having progressed from the whole bottle of wine rider on the Columbia tour to a can of bitter here, maturity abounds.

The stage set-up had a 1970s feel about it, reflecting the band’s lockdown album of their songs reimagined as stripped back socially distanced arrangements, with table lamps and a globe drinks cabinet proving the backdrop.

It’s hard to see how Haywood’s vocals will maintain their raspy, angsty tone throughout a long tour but that’s the challenge that has been set.

In Black Glass the band have the perfect set closer, a brooding track clocking in at over six minutes which slowly builds to a faster and faster conclusion before they disappear, leaving the sold out Brudenell wanting an encore that never comes.

The set of punchy, energetic punk and rock tracks are the perfect antidote to the past 18 months, seeping into the sub consciousness as they do, rendering socially distanced gigs to the depths of the memory, permitting total escapism through live music.

It has been missed.