Live Review: Pip Blom at The Castle in Manchester 12 April 2017

Review from Jack Brownbill

Forward thinking those Dutch folk eh? Cycle everywhere (great for the environment), one of the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe (No need for Jeremy Kyle here then), the birthplace of total football (God bless Johan Cruyff) and liberal laws when it comes to those magic cigarettes (whatever floats your boat I say!)

However, the music scene over in the Netherlands hasn’t really had anything to shout about over the years. Apart from travelling to Ibiza with The Vengaboys in the late nineties or reaching ‘No Limits’ with 2 Unlimited, the music scene hasn’t really evolved past the techno/Europop to date. It’s not that there isn’t a market for this kind of stuff – I am just all for the variety; the spice of life. Step forward the new kid on the block: Pip Blom.

The indie DIY scene is something I must admit, doesn’t first come to mind alongside the Dutch music scene. After hearing of the band on Marc Riley’s 6 Music show (the day before the gig!) and their live studio performance, I was instantly hooked by the throwback of scratchy guitars, catchy riffs and a dollop of pure pop fun.

Comparisons to Courtney Barnett are inevitable. The Catchy ‘I Think I’m In Love’ pretty much follows in the same vein as Barnett’s ‘Pedestrian At Best’. That isn’t a bad thing, but we are not treading on new ground here. However, with all the jangly guitars and observational poetry steeped in each song, it’s easy to feel all warm and fuzzy for all those nostalgia feels from early noughties and the burst of the Indie scene that swept a nation. Pip Blom have charm in abundance and there is a little innocence to the whole performance as well.

Opening up with the insanely catch ‘Taxi Driver‘, the gig starts at a frenzied speed. The setting of Manchester’s Castle Hotel just adds a little more intimacy to the gig (readers will know this is a particularly fave venue of mine!) The chat is few and far between each song, but that gives the audience even more time to soak up each song.

The gig flew by in the blink of an eye, but that’s not a bad thing. It all feels slick and tight – I think the gig even clocks under 30 minutes, but tonight’s performance felt like an instant hit of DIY Indie tunes at its finest. It’s early days for Pip Blom, but on tonight’s showing, the Dutch band show they have the confidence, as well as some damn fine catchy songs to show they could easily muscle their way through the ranks of the Indie music scene. If anything, the future is bright, the future is Orange.

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