The Blinders at The Lexington

The Blinders at The Lexington, London 21st February 2018

The Blinders - pic Nasty Man Creations

The Blinders

While industry bigwigs gathered the other side of town for The Brits, The Blinders, a guitar band from Doncaster, were delivering an incendiary sold out show at The Lexington, proving just how vibrant and vital new music is in the UK.

We’d interviewed them already and heard about their visceral performances, but hadn’t managed to catch one until now. The audience went straight into mosh pit mode as soon as The Blinders took the stage.

The Blinders - pic Nasty Man Creations

Lead singer Thomas Haywood has a storyteller’s knack for grabbing all your attention. Each word carefully delivered and meant, a mix of preacher, prophet and poet.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the lyrics are pastoral though. The seething rage of a devastated Northern community, and political betrayal placed firmly at the doors of Westminster, are the bedrock of this band, with lyrics like “In this bitter city there is no hope”.

A stand out song featured the refrain “Et tu, Brute”, railed against attempts to divide, also referencing the Berlin Wall. There’s a lot of thought that goes into these songs, but the result is never arch or art-rock, there’s too much gut wrenching for that.

The Blinders - pic Nasty Man Creations

Their most recent single ‘Brave New World’ was the perfect singalong, an incisive anthem with a killer guitar hook.

It’s this anthemic quality that lifts The Blinders head and shoulders above so many other bands. The crisp songwriting, that’s never self-indulgent, the words that eviscerate and yet still deliver hope.

The sound is ‘Punkadelic’ - punk meets psych meets rock, with tribal rock drumming from the powerhouse that is Matt Neale, pounding bass from the prowling and very watchable Charlie McGough, and washes of in turn growling and shimmering evocative guitar from Tom.

There’s a hint of Nick Cave in their explorations of the dark side, but the music is totally their own.

The Blinders - pic Nasty Man Creations

While Stormzy was sending out his powerful political message on the TV, the by now equally bare-chested Tom was also on the attack, claiming the future.

Guitar music’s not dead. Protest songs aren’t dead. Music can still enrage and inspire. On this evidence, speaking truth to power is more explosive, and popular, than ever.

  • Read the Kitmonsters interview with The Blinders here