INTERVIEW: Blóm | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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As soon as the first note rings out on any Blóm tune, your heart starts beating that little bit faster as the bass and drums build and the roaring sound directs your energy; your mind occupies a new, impassioned space, one where your brain isn’t fogged over, where feelings are clear, direct and rageful. Blóm are angry, and now you are too. 

Self-described as ‘three cute punx playing pua radge shit’, Blóm are finally unleashing themselves on audiences, supporting Pigs x7 around the country as well as playing Brave Exhibitions Festival at The Cluny. It will be their first run of (non-virtual) shows after the release of their first EP Flower Violence in 2020,  a culmination of the tracks they have played at live shows over the past few years. They don’t grow tired, however, their fate isn’t to eventually be thrown onto a shelf to collect dust. Instead, each track has evolved and re-moulded itself with time. Speaking to bassist Erika Leaman, she relays that rehearsing for their tour has found them developing the songs further, post-release, noting the “change and transmutations” that now seem inevitable with a band as fresh and exciting as Blóm. 

Playing live, their music becomes three-dimensional, embodied by Helen (vocals), Zach (drums) and Erika (bass), but given a new lease of life by an audience. “I think Blóm is definitely best witnessed live, up close and loud. I often feel when we play live we are in our own little bubble, creating these sounds as we could be anywhere…in a practice room, on stage in front of an audience, on a meadow or projected through the astral planes.” 

There is a safe and unapologetic space created within their music, Erika cites the vibrations created by them, but also “the messages, conversations and questions created by Helen’s lyrics.” She then discloses that Helen achieves this whilst soaking in a hot bath. “If I could play bass in the bath, I would never leave,” she laments. The result is uncompromising but meditated lyrics that poignantly attack and artfully undermine. Meat sees Helen howl “Objectify me, I am your piece of meat…” abrasively reinforced by the familiar crash and reverb that rules the trio.

The radical noise-punk that pervades Blóm’s sound has a long-standing history, however music of a similar vein isn’t something Erika spends too much time listening to. “I don’t like the idea of subliminally ripping off ideas, but I don’t think that influences what I listen to that much.” Instead, “drone-like textures” are something that fuels her creativity, with composer Robbie Basho being a current favourite. 

Looking ahead to their set at Brave Exhibitions Festival on Friday 19th November at Cluny 2, Flower Violence is set for a rebirth in front of a home audience, and Erika exudes excitement at the prospect of playing on a bill full of so many great artists including the likes of Sofa King, SL Walkinshaw, Petbrick and Smote, to name a few. Blóm slot in nicely to a Brave Exhibitions line-up full of life and sonic innovation. Characterised by alternative, provocative and liberal performers, it’s set to be an impressive weekend of music.

Blóm play Brave Exhibitions festival at The Cluny 2, Newcastle on Friday 19th November


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