1883 Magazine

Visciously visceral and captivatingly carnal, Doncaster trio The Blinders have already honed a distinguished guitar sound made for echoing around sizeable venues.

This year’s Reading festival sees the band’s final jaunt as part of the formidable Jack Rocks 7, but after just announcing a UK tour for early next year, it won’t be long until they’re tearing up venues up and down the country again. We spoke to Thomas Haywood (vocals/guitar), Charlie McGough (bass) and Matty Neale (drums) right before they took to the stage.

How has festival season been treating you so far?

Charlie: Really good.

Thomas: It wasn’t as hectic as I thought it would be.

Charlie: It’s been quite a busy one but obviously because it’s just weekends it’s not felt like a tour.

Matty: Hope and Glory was good.

All: [laughs]

What day were you on at Hope and Glory?

Thomas: The day that was cancelled. We dodged a bullet, I think it’s a stark realisation for all festival organisers.

Would you ever put your own festival on?

Thomas: Yeah man.

Charlie: I think that’s a great idea.

Thomas: We’d only ever do one day, one stage, one bar even...

Matty: Yeah and one band, us [laughs]

Thomas: The Libertines used to be really famous for it.

Have there been any rock ‘n’ roll moments during festival season?

Charlie: We’re quite a quiet band really.

Matty: Just getting drunk really.

Thomas: I think if we did have any of those moments, they’re forgotten and they’re somewhere in the abyss at the back of your mind.

Matty: [Points at Thomas] He didn’t brush his teeth this morning.

Thomas: That’s the one, I didn’t brush my teeth this morning.

How are you finding balancing the band whilst you’re all still at university?

Matty: Not very well, my attendance this year was 14%.

Thomas: It’s a difficult one because we’ve got that side of our life that every time we go back into that it brings us down to planet earth...it can get quite depressing. It doesn’t feel like we’re one of these bands that are doing really well, it just feels like something we do on the side. We certainly don’t practice as much as we should, we’ve probably practiced once in the last six months which is ridiculous for a band.

Charlie: I still like doing uni stuff, it keeps my brain working. I like the academic aspect to it, but also that’s what we do so we have to do it.

What do you all study?

Matty: I do Music, Charlie does History and Politics and Thomas does just History.

Who else on the line-up do you recommend that we see?

Matty: Strange Bones, Avalanche Party, Baby Strange.

Charlie: Shame

Thomas: Cabbage. A good little thing that happened with Reading and Leeds is we always used to go to Leeds Festival, that was our annual shindig so to speak, and the first band that we ever saw at one of these festivals was Baby Strange and now we are sharing a stage with them.

What do you think about Eminem?

Matty: The early stuff is great.

Thomas: ‘Curtain Call’ is one of the albums I grew up with. We saw him last time he did Leeds and there were so many people that it was just so underwhelming, he’s long past it now.

Charlie: I haven’t really heard much from him recently...

Thomas: Yeah it does feel like a money maker, he hit his peak in the early 2000s. You’ve got to give it to the guy that he’s still loving this shit.

What would you say to people who say, ‘rock ‘n’ roll is dead’?

Thomas: It is dead [laughs].

Charlie: You’re so right [laughs].

Thomas: There are other ways to put across whatever rock n roll is putting across.

Matty: It depends how you see it, if you’re saying it’s dead in terms of the big bands maybe, but there’s so many new bands about.

Words by Shannon Cotton

Photography Anna Smith

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