Tom Haywood’s now-iconic face paint, black rings circling his eyes, is now part and parcel of a Blinders’ show. However, there’s something different in the air at The Cluny.
In the past, The Blinders have always been striving to convert the handful of newcomers in attendance. Haywood preaches his messages, his manifesto, and converts them to cult-like fans with ease. Tonight, wasn’t like that.
Everyone in the room has now heard Haywood and Co.’s thoughts through their superb debut, ‘Columbia.’ Tonight was more like a victory lap, everybody there celebrating what the trio have achieved in the last two years.
The setting of The Cluny suits them. The narrow hallway is slightly cramped, with open brick walls create an eerie mood that The Blinders only build on.
Haywood’s raspy caw and demonic stare are both haunting. Meanwhile bassist Charlie McGough constantly aims his guitar like a gun. Acting as the officer in charge, he monitors the young moshers down the front with an equally intense gaze.
The piercing harmonica of ‘Rat In Cage,’ adds another layer of creepiness to the evening, but this was quickly contrasted by the euphoria of the chorus. Haywood belts out “come together we need each other” as friends and strangers lift each other onto shoulders, blocking the view for the older punks at the back.
Older cuts like ‘Swine’ and ‘Ramona Flowers’ were nice touches. The two classics somewhat forgotten over the last two weeks with all the talk about ‘Columbia.’ These moments of nostalgia, albeit well received by the crowd, left me feeling rather underwhelmed.