Arts

We haven't made it yet says Blossoms singer Tom Ogden

In three short years, Blossoms have reached heights they barely dared dream. But as frontman Tom Ogden tells Andy Welch, that doesn't mean they've 'made it' – yet

Tom Ogden with bandmates Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock

BLOSSOMS' singer Tom Ogden is nothing if not down to earth. Like many 20-year-olds from the Manchester area, he's still riding high after his beloved City's victory in the recent derby against Manchester United, although he's rather sad he had to give up his season ticket when his band started taking off.

He also talks with great excitement about the night Manchester's King Monkey, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, approached him in a bar and talked about how much he loved Ogden's band. Another time, he and his bandmates bumped into Johnny Marr in a shopping centre and he brought up their single Charlemagne – or "that great pop song", as Marr referred to it.

Best of all, he says, was meeting "his hero", Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys.

As a teenager, when his mates went off on a lads' summer holiday, he and another pal opted to go to France to see Arctic Monkeys instead, and stood outside Turner's hotel all day hoping to meet their idol. They got a few words that day, so imagine how pleased Ogden was to find himself in Turner's dressing room one evening more recently, sharing a drink and swapping lines from Back To The Future II (a mutual favourite).

"I can't believe stuff like that is happening," says Ogden. "Alex knew that James Skelly from The Coral had produced our record, which is just amazing. I'm such a nerd with dates and tours Arctic Monkeys have done, and I was blurting all this stuff out. I needed to pretend I'm cool, when really I was just fanboying all over the place."

Our interview happens during Blossoms' first of five days 'off' since the beginning of the year. While he's happy to have woken up in his own bed, rather than a hotel or tour bus, he's eager to get back on the road to what Blossoms do best.

"We're in the eye of the storm at the moment," says Ogden. "It doesn't seem as mad to us, but if we explain it to friends or strangers, our lives can seem really hectic. Don't get me wrong, there are certain moments when we look at each other and wonder what's happening to us, but we haven't just been dropped into this situation."

He explains how things have been building since the band's first rehearsal, just over three years ago. That was the moment he, along with bandmates Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock, knew something was special about Blossoms. Having all previously been in bands to no avail, things just felt different this time around.

Since then, it's been a gradual, albeit steep, rise for Blossoms, who started 2016 by reaching the shortlist of the BBC's annual tastemaking Sound Of poll, culminating with a chart-topping album. For Ogden, it's no sign the band have made it.

"Even at this moment, we don't feel like that," he says. "Three years ago, to reach the point we're at now would've felt like making it, but now we're here, there are more things we want to achieve, and longevity is the thing we're aiming for."

Ogden lays out his plans for writing bigger and better songs, his dream of growing the band's fan base.

"We've come from obscurity to have a number-one album, but we've seen so many bands do that and then disappear into obscurity again soon after. We don't want to do that. We're very serious about it, without being serious people."

There's a confidence to the things Ogden says that harks back to the days when bands would shout from the rooftops about how great their songs were.

That cocksure attitude has disappeared, long since replaced by humility as the default setting for young artists eager to appear relatable. Ogden, though, seems more like a Gallagher brother in his self-belief.

"I can't explain that confidence," he says. "It just comes from the bands we listened to, where we're from and what we're like. Oasis were my favourite band, their attitude stuck. It's our songs, more than anything. We're humble people, but we believe in what we're doing.

"You know when you hear a good tune, and these are good. They just happen to be ours. And anyway, if they weren't good, my dad would've told me."

:: Blossoms' self-titled debut album is out now. See www.blossomsband.co.uk

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