This week marks the year anniversary of Welsh band The Blackout’s final tour. On 1 December 2014, they announced their split, due to being unable to financially support the career. It was a great shame for the six piece and fans alike.
For me, it was heartbreaking. The Blackout have been my favourite band since I was 13, I felt like it marked an end of my childhood, like my adolescence was finally over. In fact, I can remember the first time I really fell in love with them – in 2010, when they were supporting You Me At Six for Wolverhampton. I was a casual fan beforehand, having heard their biggest singles – ‘Children of the Night’ and ‘Save Ourselves (The Warning)’ – on Kerrang! multiple times, but this was nothing compared to what I saw in that small venue. As they opened their set with STFUppercut, I was speechless: the energy, the unity and the presence just took my breath away, and from then on, I was hooked.
I’ve seen them six times – it would have been more, but everyone goes through a phase where they drift from their favourite bands. But in the end, I will always come back to The Blackout. The way they helped through my angsty teenage years will always stick with me – the lyrics just resonated in a way that nothing else did, and the jagged guitar riffs matched my attitude. But it wasn’t just the music; it was the community. I made some lifelong friends from those days, and I may not speak to them regularly, but I miss those long, hot days waiting outside venues for hours more than anything.
The Blackout was like a family. The band were as much a part of that as the fans, and that’s what made it so special. Having met them all several times as well, they always made sure to ask how you were, and if you enjoyed the show. To my 13-year-old self, there was nothing better than The Blackout’s live shows. The crowd was energetic, the band always played to an incredible standard, and I was with my friends – what could have been better?
It wasn’t just me that felt like this – I spoke to one of the friends I made during this time, and he completely agreed. “I guess the big impact they had on me was them being there for me during my formative years, and they were like a group of friends that talked you through those teenage worries and mirroring them back at you,” Theo, 23, said. “I’ve seen them 70 times, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen them now, but I’ll never forget them. I feel like I really lived during the four years I followed them, and they’ve influenced me more than anything else ever has.”
And that’s it summed up perfectly – I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today without the friendships and love I received during those years. I certainly wouldn’t be at university, studying to become a music journalist – The Blackout were the band that got me intensely interested in music, and they introduced me to the world of music media, like a gateway drug if you will.
So I guess five years later, I must thank The Blackout. Thank you for being you, thank you for creating the music you did, and for being the people you are. Thank you for bringing dozens of teenagers from completely different backgrounds together and for helping us find comfort in our worst years. I will miss you, I will miss the good times you provided, and I will never forget what you’ve done for me.
RIP The Blackout.