There are a few essential ingredients need to be great punk act and The Blinders seem to have all of these. They have a raw angry sound, thrashing guitars, screaming vocals and an over simplified evocative political message. This is all brought together by natural stage presence and charisma. This all promised a lot, but did they deliver?
Not wholly original, The Blinders draw influences from punk acts of the 70s like The Damned and The Clash combing this attitude and style with drums and guitar which wouldn’t seem out of place on an early Arctic Moneys record. The Arctic Moneys comparison is an easy one to make, yet it felt more apparent on their EP and singles than in their live show. This lack of originality was particularly clear when about two thirds of the way into the show front man Thomas Haywood started screaming “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER!”. I don’t have too much problem with a more generic sound when it is executed well and The Blinders do a pretty good job of playing the rebellious youth.
The band’s limited back catalogue meant that much of the show was made up of unreleased material which was damaging to it’s quality. While these songs weren’t inherently worse than what had been released, the audience, who weren’t as engaged as is desirable for a punk show, were even more turned off by the material they weren’t familiar with. None of this was helped by the fact that despite its small size The Globe was only half full and the empty space could really be felt. The Blinders feel as if they would be more at home in the sweaty side room of an underground venue with a crowd packed tight like sardine and with an energy reflective of the band’s. Sadly, the Cardiff audience were just too polite and the small acts of rebellion by one particularly enthusiastic audience member felt more like an annoyance than anything else. This was disappointing as with a better crowd and slightly larger back catalogue I really do think The Blinders could be a great punk act, but for now they’ll just have to settle for being pretty good.
Written by Max Modell