Tuesday, 11 October 2016


THE BLINDERS - photo credit to the relevant individual.
From left to right - Charlie, Matt and Tom
In the last year this 'punkadelic band made up of Tom Haywood (vocals/guitar), Charlie McGough (bass) and Matt Neale (drums/backing vocals) have progressed so much in terms of their live shows since moving to Manchester for university.

Just after they released their first EP 'Murder at the Ballet' The Blinders did a gig at Plug in Sheffield which was followed by their track 'Murder At The Ballet' being played by Christian Carlisle on BBC Introducing Sheffield to which before Carlisle recommended people saw the band.

I definitely agree with the recommendation. The first time I saw them I loved their stage presence and as they have progressed there crowds have got larger and more raucous and the band themselves seem to have more energy throughout their shows.

This year the band also made their Leeds Festival debut for This Feeling / Jack Rocks and now played the very first AMP Live Fest at The Rocking Chair, Sheffield and also the first ever Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester.
I found some time during the Friday night of the festival to interview the boys of the band:

The boys of the band at AMP Live Fest.
Where did the name 'The Blinders' come from?
Tom: 'The Blinders came from Charlie being in Tesco. We were struggling to think of a name, he turned round and saw a 'Peaky Blinders' boxset on offer and he thought it was a good name so we went with 'The Blinders'. It wasn't as romantic as we wanted it to be but it sorta fit so we stuck with it.'
What would you describe your genre to be at present?
Tom: 'Genre, that's a tricky one.'
Charlie: 'Alternative grunge?'
Tom: 'Fucking grunge hahaha you can't say that. I'd say punkadelic.'
Who would you say the biggest influences for your band are? Are these influences people who you grew up listening to or did you find them later on in life?

Tom: 'It's mixed.'
Matt: 'Yeah we're all quite individual on that.'
Tom: 'You go first Charlie.'
Charlie: 'Biggest influence is probably Nick Cave.'
Tom: 'Personally, I'd say The Wytches. When they first came out we had a very different sound and then we  heard the tune they first put out and thought 'fucking hell I want that guitar sound and energy like that' and it just developed. More recently though a lot of Bob Dylan.'
Matt: 'And Cooper-Clarke.'
Tom: 'Yeah, Fat White Family as well, fucking Fat White Family they know something we don't and its incredible.'
Do you prefer your own shows or festival sets? Why?

Tom: 'That's a really good question. I think because we are so new to the festival scene we are really digging festivals but they're is something very special about playing your own shows.'
Charlie: 'The beauty of festivals for me is playing infront of a crowd that you don't have to pull in, that pressure is gone and you're playing to people you never have before whereas at your own shows you usually know at least some of the people there if not all of them.'
What do you think makes a good gig?

Tom: 'Energy. You've got to let them eat out of your hand.'
Matt: 'You've got to get the crowd going.'
Tom: 'Yeah, like planned chaos. Controlled chaos.'
Matt: 'If you haven't got the crowd that's there going there's no point.'
You played Leeds Fest this year for This Feeling / Jack Rocks. How did you find that?

Matt: 'Incredible.'
Tom: 'Yeah it was fantastic. It changed our perception of festival as a whole as you know we've been to the festival 4 years in a row. It was magnificent.
For those who haven't heard of many or any of the bands from the AMP Live Fest line-up, who would you recommend they listen to?
Charlie: 'No Hot Ashes.'
Tom: 'Yeah, No Hot Ashes they're doing something very different. Cupids and JUDAS too.'

This month is the month that you're new debut single 'Swine' is going to be released,
Tom you said that the influence for this song came from Yak's 'Hungry Heart'. What was it about that song / Yak that influenced your song?

Tom: 'Yep that's right. Energy man.'
Matt: 'High octane all the way through.'
Tom: 'Yeah, it captures a feeling, urm when I first heard it I thought I was to write a song like that but we like to get a bit more literate and a bit more lyrically pleasing so we took that idea and did something of our own. We wrote four or five different versions of the song so we were really pleased with the outcome.'
In terms of the band, what is something you want to fulfil?

Tom: 'We said a few years ago we want to do a show where we haven't had to tell people about it. We want to announce it an hour before and have it full.'
Matty: 'I think if you can do a show anywhere in the country and have a hundred people turn up you've made it.'
Tom: 'There's something beautiful about people just coming down and digging you and your songs. The stuff we write is not just because we want to make music, we wanna say something, spread messages.'
Throughout the rest of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 expect from the realise of 'Swine' and your single release show at The Deaf Institute, Manchester (tickets for the release show can be bought here) what can we expect from the Blinders?

Tom: 'There's not much planned. We've had talks of another EP, we've had talks of another single but to be honest Sophie, we're just taking things as they come at the moment. Things are coming fast and that's how we like it.'
You can listen to the debut EP from The Blinders here:

Written by Sophie.

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