Tom Ogden, (seen here in the middle), guitarist, singer and songwriter with the English band Blossoms chats with Kevin Cooper about opening for The Stone Roses, watching football with Noel Gallagher, their new album Cool Like You and their forthcoming tour of the UK.

Tom Ogden is the lead vocalist and guitarist with English rock band, Blossoms. Formed in 2013, other band members include bass player Charlie Salt, guitarist Josh Dewhurst, drummer Joe Donovan and keyboard player Myles Kellock. Taking their name from The Blossoms public house at the corner of Bramhall Lane and Buxton Road in Stockport, the band released their first single, You Pulled A Gun On Me in January 2014.

After releasing four EPs between 2014 to 2016, they released their self titled album in 2016 which was nominated for a Mercury Music prize in August 2017, after reaching number one in the album charts.

With the release of their second album Cool Like You and a forthcoming tour of the UK, Tom Ogden took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

Hi Tom how are you?

Hi Kevin it’s good to talk to you. I’m good thanks how are you?

I’m very well thanks and let me thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

Don’t worry about it.

And just how is life treating you?

Life is great. I’m just in Prague at the moment on tour with Noel Gallagher. So things really couldn’t be any better to be honest. We are all having the time of our lives.

So no doubt you have tried the local lager?

(Laughter) I have yes and it’s not too bad. The best thing is that it’s only fifty pence a pint so yes, I have to say that we have tried the odd one or two (laughter).

Before we talk about the new album, taking you back to August 2016, when your self titled debut album Blossoms went to number one in the album charts. That must have pleased you?

Yes it did, it was great. Before it was released we didn’t really get caught up in whether or not it would get to number one but once we realised how many copies we had sold during the first week I thought ‘fucking hell, we might actually get to number one’ (laughter). That was the cherry on the top of what we all thought was a great album. We were all really proud with what we managed to achieve with that album. It really was a great feeling.

Bringing you right up to date, I have been playing the new album Cool Like You for the past couple of weeks and I have to say that I think that it is a great piece of work.

Thanks a lot man, I‘m glad that you like it.

Are you and the rest of the band happy with it?

Yes we are all happy with it. We are really proud of it and think that it is the best thing that we have done. It sounds more like an album than the first one did. The songs on this album all sound as though they are all from the same world. All of the new songs were written within the same time frame whereas the songs on the first album were written over a two year period. The new album was written and recorded over a twelve month period so yes, we are all really proud of it. We think that it sounds great and we can’t wait to start playing it live.

My go to track at the moment is the opening track on the album, There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls) I think it’s great.

I’m so glad that you have said that because we all really do love that track. That was the first song that I wrote with the new album in mind, and that’s why it is the opener. I personally think that it is a great anthem and I really can see people singing along with that once we start playing it live.

So just who is the person whose calls you didn’t return?

(Laughter) now that would be telling. A lot of the songs on the first album were written about breakups and There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls) was written off the back of all of those songs. It is still in the same vein as those. Obviously whenever you have broken up with someone and you haven’t seen them for a few months, there is always that time when you see them again and at that moment you remember exactly why you never returned their calls and all of the things which led you to break up. It is a really honest song; all of the lyrics are factual and I also thought that There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls) would make a great song title (laughter). I appreciate that it is a bit of a mouthful but I really do like it. It’s a big statement.

Are you looking forward to getting the album out there, and more to the point, letting the fans hear it?

Yes I am. I think that we felt a bit like that more so when we had some time off. We were all pretty quiet and so we started thinking about the album and the release date. However, now that we are back out on the road over here in Europe, that has managed to take away the climbing the walls element. We are managing to play a few of the new songs live and that gives you the release you need leading up to it. I think that we will all be fine now; we have waited long enough (laughter).

You have mentioned being over in Europe and you have mentioned Mr Gallagher, what’s it like being out on the road with him?

You probably won’t believe this but Noel is an absolute gentleman. This has been a really enjoyable tour for us. After the shows he will always have a drink with us, he watches the football with us, he is just a really talented and sound kind of guy. There are no egos on tour so it really is great.

Would you say that you got the better brother out of the two?

I don’t know about that (laughter). I don’t really want to pledge allegiance to either side (laughter). To be honest we have met Liam as well and he really was a proper gent. I have nothing to say but good things about them both.

You are releasing the album as a double with an acoustic version of There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls), whose idea was that?

Well obviously on the first album we had recorded quite a few EP’s which had a load of tracks which then made it onto the deluxe edition and then we released the EP tacks as a bonus version. However, this time around we haven’t released any EP’s so we thought that it would be quite an old school thing to do, to strip back the songs in order to show them for what they are in their purest form. We think that they are great songs and they really do sound great acoustically too. We were already thinking about making a bonus edition of the album and that was probably the best thing that we could do with what we had and I have to say that I think that it has turned out great.

You are playing a dozen or so gigs here in the UK during May, will you be going back out later in the year to fully tour the album?

As you say we are doing a few dates in May but it’s not a huge tour. So yes, towards the end of this year we will most definitely be back doing another headline tour.

On the subject of gigs, you are going to be playing two acoustic sets at Rough Trade here in Nottingham on Sunday. Are you looking forward to that?

Yes we are. We have played a few gigs in the past at Rough Trade in Nottingham and we have always had a great time. We will most probably play the stripped back version of the songs and play them acoustically. It is a great opportunity for the fans to come and meet us in person and then hear the songs for what they really are. We always love doing stuff like that.

I have to ask you, what was it like opening for The Stone Roses?

That was great. Again, it was another one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments. To open for a band that you have grown up loving, it really was the ultimate. It’s the stuff of dreams. It was one of those moments that you have got to fully enjoy while you are in that moment. You don’t have the time to sit back and say “wow” you just have to lap up every minute of it and enjoy it which we did. It really was great.

Will you be playing any festivals this summer that you can tell me about?

Yes we will be playing a few festivals this summer both here in the UK and also over in Europe. The two which I am really looking forward to are The Isle Of Wight Festival and the Tramlines Festival here in the UK. We are not playing a massive amount but we will still be playing a fair few.

They always say that you should never believe your own press but when certain sections of the music business are likening you to Alex Turner and Richard Ashcroft, how does that make you feel?

I don’t know really, I suppose that I should look at it as being a great compliment. Again, none of us really try to get too caught up in that kind of thing. Having said that both Alex and Richard have been huge influences upon me. I suppose that it is really a tip of the hat. I can only tell you who I am influenced by and I have most definitely been influenced by the two of them so you can see why someone might say that. So yes, whilst it is a great compliment I never take these things too seriously.

Are there any thoughts on the infamously difficult third album?

Yes there are. I’ve not really played around with any demos or sounds yet. At the moment the ideas are really pure forms of songs in my mind but yes, there are a few ideas floating around in my head. I am always writing but by the time that we come to write and record the third album I may very well think that these songs are not good enough and start the process all over again. We will just have to see when I get to that point.

What was the first record that you bought?

That would have been back in 2002 and it was Justified, which was the debut solo album by Justin Timberlake.

Who did you first see playing live?

That was Oasis at Heaton Park, Manchester in 2009.

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

This song didn’t quite make me cry but there is a song on Noel Gallagher’s set list called Dead In The Water. I have to say that it did make me feel quite emotional but I didn’t quite cry.

On that note Tom, let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me today, it’s been interesting. You take care and I hope to see you here in Nottingham at Rough Trade.

Great Kevin, nice one. Cheers mate and I will see you later.