14th October | Thekla
Pip Blom have certainly been a breakout success story in 2019, seamlessly going from strength to strength throughout the year. Hailing from Amsterdam and starting as a solo project for singer and lead guitarist, Pip Blom, her musical project soon became a four-piece band, while keeping her name as the band’s moniker. From their excellent and highly-praised debut LP, Boat which arrived back in May, through to opening the John Peel stage at Glastonbury, plenty of support from the likes of 6Music, Dork and NME to name but a few, and now selling out shows across their UK tour, the four-piece’s success has been undeniable and unavoidable.
Up first were support act, Personal Trainer, also from The Netherlands, who did a great job of getting the already packed crowd warmed up and ready with their upbeat and energetic half hour of indie-rock. Recent single, ‘The Lazer’ with its earworm of a chorus was particularly memorable, and the band played with a confidence that suggests they won’t be playing as a support band for much longer.
It was interesting to see that Pip Blom had attracted music fans of all ages to this sold-out show at Thekla, proving the wide-reaching appeal of their music and the diversity of their musical influences. There are echoes of British indie heavyweights like Blur and Arctic Monkeys in their sound, whom the band have named as big inspirations, as well as callbacks to bands of the 70s and 80s too.
Despite this, what Pip Blom presented to the packed-out Bristol audience was an impressive set of songs that never felt unoriginal or derivative, despite their influences. With little banter with the crowd between songs, the quartet played a tight and confident set, bouncing between songs, which felt too short at a breezy 45 minutes. I for one could have happily stayed longer.
Their uplifting and catchy pop hooks and melodies, matched with fuzzy guitars, created a truly feelgood atmosphere amongst the audience, leading to a mass singalong on more than one occasion, with stand-out songs including album favourite, ‘Tired’ and older single, ‘I Think I’m In Love’ going down particularly well with the appreciative and responsive crowd. Finishing, of course, with breakout single and LP opener, ‘Daddy Issues’ which had the whole room moving, it was obvious the band were in their element and the hype they’ve attracted is certainly justified, going by the success of this performance.
Pip and her band-mate brother, Tender have cited their parents’ jobs as music journalists as a big influence on their path to forming a band, and it was sweet to see their mum was on tour with them, in charge of the very popular merch table – with Pip giving her a shout out halfway through the set. With a very good debut album under their belt, and the big crowds turning out to see them on this UK tour, it looks like the success they’ve achieved in 2019 is just the start of bigger things still to come for Pip Blom.
See the video for ‘Daddy Issues’ here: