Pip Blom, Academy 3, Manchester – 09/02/22

Dutch indie band Pip Blom brought their upbeat outlook and foot-tapping little belters to Manchester’s Academy 3, promoting their new album Welcome Break.

But before we get into that, a word about surprise support act Henry Carlyle (usually found on guitar in The Orielles). Here he was flying solo with Julia Bardo (formerly Working Men’s Club) on bass.

Despite seeming unusually nervy (possibly a last-minute stand-in?) the tunes were good, the performance heartfelt and Henry set the scene nicely for the main event.

So on to Pip Blom. This is a band who are enjoying themselves and don’t mind showing it. They have great onstage chemistry you don’t often see, and it translates to the music. The crowd bounced along like part of the gang.

Academy 3 is warm tonight and about 5 songs in guitarist Derek Mercks removes his shirt, followed shortly by bassist Tender Blom (much to the delight of the audience). The two shirtless men make a fine sight to be fair.

As if sensing danger, Academy 3 switches the air con on and the band rejoices. The tunes get a bit lighter too. Pip herself is a charismatic front-woman and with Gini Cameron on drums, this band is a lot of fun.

Do yourself a favour and give Welcome Break a listen, or even better, catch these guys on their UK tour. Like a welcome blast of air-con, it will make you feel good : )

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