The Blind Hearts
Saturday 15 February
Free Before 9pm, £4 Thereafter
The Blind Hearts
Moving Manchester to the Mississippi
The Blind Hearts are a hillbilly rabble of 5 scruffy young guitar pickin, harmony-hollerin, bourbon-swiggin folk-blues-country yokels from Manchester, London and Japan.
?The band are used to fighting against the odds. Just as national radio picked up on the buzz – debut single (Oh Lord and I) Keep On Losing was pick of the week on Absolute Radio‘s Sunday Night Music Club show – drummer J Hirano was forced to return to his native Japan for almost 2 years. Yet the ‘Hearts vowed to wait for him, demonstrating a genuine “we’re all this together” spirit.
?The irony was not lost on them: the very thing delaying their burgeoning success was the immigration policy of a government supposedly motivated by the same attitude. “Like assaulting the working man with 2 years of cuts wasn’t enough…” they remark drily.
Meantime, unable to record but with friend Taan Parker standing in on drums for live shows, festivals across the UK saw wildly acclaimed sets from the band, supporting a growing list of greats including Seasick Steve, Ed Sheeran, Michael Kiwanuka, Alabama3 and Ocean Colour Scene. The performances featured guest appearances from associates as diverse as Alabama3, Motorhead and new Northern soul legend Jess Roberts.
?With J’s elusive long term visa finally granted when the powers that be relented “after he provided the third copy of his great aunt’s dental records”, the reunited band immediately decamped to The Charlatans‘ Big Mushroom studio, where Charlatans guitarist Mark Collins produced the widely acclaimed single “Crying Shame”.
Their forthcoming shows could represent the last chance to catch them in a small venue…