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Blossoms review – chart-topping anti-lads get louche and loved up | Music

Stockport quintet Blossoms are quite the pop chameleons. They emerged in 2014 as bob-cut black-clad indie-psychedelic band, but by 2018, and their second album Cool Like You, they were a shiny pop thing with bouncy electro keyboards and big choruses. The new – and second chart-topping – album Foolish Loving Spaces sees them shapeshift once again, ramping up the pop and funk to emerge as a shamelessly joyous and melodious mix of bubblegum pop, Abba and Talking Heads.

There are shades of that band’s Remain in Light-era as Blossoms take the stage, their five-piece lineup augmented by percussionists, backing vocals and a second guitarist. They end up with 12 people on stage, and guitarist Josh Dewhurst doubling on zither. Their wardrobe has undergone a similar outlandish expansion. The polo necks and medallions of their early Pink Floyd look have now completely given way to very long hairstyles, inscrutable moustaches, brightly coloured flares and garish shirts that could double as women’s blouses.

Blossoms’ 12-piece band.

Blossoms’ 12-piece band. Photograph: Mark Waugh/The Guardian

Vocalist Tom Ogden sports the pièce de resistance, a pink trouser suit paired with the sort of scarf worn by 70s air hostesses. His stage mannerisms are best described as flouncy. When a gruff voice yells “Love yer suit, Tom,” he quips, “Cheers babe.” It all comes across like a fiendish way of subverting any remaining hints that Blossoms are a northern lad band, and in songs the 26-year old pours out his heart in a way that blokes of his age rarely do in pubs. There are songs about love, unrequited love and, well, more love, occasionally with bone-dry humour. The exuberant Romance, Eh? sounds as if a mate wrote the title on a beer mat and said: “Write a great song called that, then.” And they have.

They are local back in their home town – this is the first of two special nights showcasing the album – and the Stockport audience responds in kind, rising to their feet for the lovely The Keeper and My Vacant Days and singing sections of Falling for Someone a cappella. Blossoms return with a clutch of oldies, but sound like a band whose mission is to outstrip their former selves.

At Stockport Plaza 12 February. Then touring.

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