Sixty Million Postcards, Bournemouth

The Blinders

It’s a freezing cold Thursday night down at the now refurbished 60 Million Postcards as we await one of the UK’s brightest hopes and potential “Next Big Thing’s”. But first, we welcome to the stage tonight’s support act Arcade Hearts. Hailing from Gosport this quartet play a safe brand of Indie/Funk/Pop that while not ripping up any trees, does, in fact, hold my attention. Daniel (vox) has a barnet and matching grin, not unlike 80’s heartthrob Limahl of Kajagoogoo, and once he gets his confidence up he assuredly performs with ease. There are hints of early Robert Smith in his vocals; delivered in a clear, audible manner. Matched to (in places) some chiming guitar notes and unfussy basslines; the drumming is simple enough as they also dabble in some Funk/Pop influences while keeping to their 80’s influenced Pop sensibilities. They are fairly clean cut and while I would like to see their guitars held a little lower; they have a stagecraft that while not totally original, is unique enough to call their own.

Arcade Hearts
Arcade Hearts 12

After 40 minutes they depart the stage much as they arrived, quietly and with little fuss. There’s a certain deliberate anti-fashion (IMO) to their look, and with a few more gigs under their belts, they may just take their output to wider circles. And while their songs/music might be steeped in the past, they have more than enough about them to get to a higher level. I wish them well.

And so to the headliners. The Blinders – great name, but what of their music? This Doncaster trio open with “Gotta Get Through” with its whirring guitars and ferocious driving beat. Their bludgeoning wall of sound immediately invokes memories of a recent “Wytches” gig in this very venue. And while it’s a smaller crowd in attendance they are no less enthused. There are one or two notable influences to be heard here and they have a more than distinct sound quite their own. “Swine” comes next and lead vocalist Thomas reaches from the depths of his lungs and promptly jumps up on the bass drum for added height. They clearly don’t lack confidence and putting in the miles on this tour wonít have done them any harm. “Free The Slave” starts off with Thomas bellowing an almost spoken-word diatribe, before the song explodes into life. Lots of genres come to the fore – Rock/Glam/Grunge, add or delete where necessary. “Where No Man Comes” precedes latest single “Brave New World” and it’s at this point that I really take note.

The Blinders
The Blinders 12345

It is by far their standout cut of the evening, bettered only by “Hate Song” which is anything but. There’s a certain brutality to this number, strained chords and vocals allied to a chugging beat from Matty (drums). Disjointed and changing pace it keeps one guessing, and that I guess is the point. It starts to slow down latterly as they near their sets end. “Ramona Flowers” has a certain drudgery about it and it’s at this point I’m wondering if they are just 2 trick ponies? They have a great look, stagecraft and one or two great songs; but for me I was expecting more with all the current hype. For “Brutus” Thomas climbs the monitors to vocalise at a higher position. The effect is great but I canít help thinking it’s been done so many times before by better bands. That said, they are definitely onto something with their style of music. In a musical world where nothing is original these days it is good to see a band at least stretching out and trying to be different. And while I’m not blown away I would hope to catch them again in a different venue with a different crowd and maybe judge them then. But for now and with a record deal recently signed the future can only be bright. Next Big Thing? Quite possibly! We will see…

Set List
The Blinders
Gotta Get Through
L’Etat C’est Moi
Free the Slave
I Can’t Breathe Blues
Where No Man Comes
Brave New World
Hate Song
Murder at the Ballet/Rat in a Cave
Ramona Flowers
Et Tu
Berlin Wall



Words by Ross A Ferrone
Pictures & Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace