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Review: Blondes @ Crofters Rights

On their debut headline tour for their EP In Seperation, Nottingham outfit Blondes play polished indie pop with infectious riffs and empathetic lyrics.

By Will Buckley

After I’d hastily taken up the open offer to review Blondes, and carried out some brief research, I thought I had them worked out. I thought I was in for a few hours of unoriginal Spotify-recommended slop which I would then smugly mock to my followers (all 107 of them!), and that would be that. Instead, right from the start of the show, I felt my layer of pretentious MusicBro™ ice melt away as Blondes supplied banger after banger. Toes were tapped. Hands were waved.

In an age of unpleasantly ironic self-aware-but-not-really-self-aware indie music, Blondes’ heart-on-sleeve sincerity cut through, allowing them to create a sentimental, often humorous portrait of what it means to be young and constantly straddling the line between carefree happiness and the fear of the ever-nearing ‘real world’. Lines like "If it was easy to change, then I would every day, but it’s just not like I’m able to" conjure the at the time profound, in the morning unintentionally funny words we’ve all yelled down the phone at the end of a night out.

Their 2021 single 'Minimum Wage' expresses the quiet acceptance of life after the fun dies down: ‘I don’t really know what to do with myself now, when I’m at work all day, I’ve got no time to stay and lay around, with you’. Blondes sound like the height of the party, and they sound like watching the sun rise at afters. They sound like the throes of young love; they sound like crushing heartbreak.

Blondes @ Crofters Rights | Will Buckley

After a short, sweet, blistering performance from Felix, and a cathartic, angsty set from crysometimes, Blondes took to the stage and opened with Conversations, a song about one of life’s simple pleasures: intoxicated waffling amongst friends. This felt particularly well placed after the in-between-sets discussion I’d had with two lovely strangers about Deftones, Purple Mountains, and Horrorcore rap. Oh, Bristol. A highlight was their new song ‘Does it Rain on You?’ a song marked by its sweet riff, uncomplicated structure and confessional lyrics.

As the set progressed and the energy in the room slowly grew, the crowd had one song on their mind: the band’s 2020 TikTok hit 'Coming of Age', a song tinged with nostalgia and melancholy, a song that put the band on the map and set out who they were. The song opened with the crowd singing the riff (the sign of a great song) and the refrain of ‘Here something really could happen’ followed later by ‘When we’re older, and it’s over, will this be a highlight?’ transported everyone in the room back to being 15 and drinking on summer nights, to first loves, to the eternity that is youth. Basically, it was a bit like Ed Sheeran’s 'Castle on The Hill', but better in every way?

Ultimately, Blondes defied all expectations in the best possible way. Their set was heavier and more engaging in real life, they knew how to work a crowd, and they did it so well that they won over a pretentious indie-snob cynic. It can be safely said that whatever comes next with Blondes, they are only getting better.

Featured image: Ian Cheek Press

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