Blind Atlas
Gig Seeker Pro

Blind Atlas


Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dramatic and Spellbinding"

A bass guitar played with a bow, a violin, smoke and ominous vocals combine to create a powerful and captivating on-stage presence. Dramatic, spellbinding with a touch of darkness in parts make Blind Atlas a thoroughly hypnotic act. Their atmospheric numbers were balanced out by later tunes, which were lighter but no less appealing. There were shades of American rock, but with a haunting, uplifting and memorable tone all of their own. A powerful and mesmerising act well worth your attention - BBC Manchester Introducing

"All is well on Divsion Street"

Blind Atlas could be Doves gone west; classic northern indie rock that's been at the alt-country whiskey barrel and had a wild night out with Ryan Adams ending in some Led Zep inspired jam session sometime around three in the morning. And later in the set, the best Rolling Stones bleeding-soul blues ballad since Primal Scream's "Damaged", although Ross Thompson does have the advantage over both that he doesn't have to fake his American accent. What brought him from Colorado to Chorlton is anybody's guess, but the result is the greatest collision of Mancunia and Americana since The Earlies. - Manchester Music - Cath Aubergine

"Blowout at Chorlton Irish Club"

Blind Atlas clamber onto the dusty stage, they soon become it and it becomes them. Singers and main vocalists Ross and Adam stand in line with their men ready to march steadily into musical battle with flags held high. This band mean business, they have downbeat stories to tell, emotions to express and questions to answer. ‘How do we Know’ exists in the wind and the sand of a lost place but ‘Everything Will Be Alright’ and I for one believe them. High And Low broods, it laments something that is unknown to us but I sort of get the picture though I am not sure why. My emotions have dipped slightly but I accept that this can be a good thing for it is when we are in that place that we become reflective and Blind Atlas have guided me safely there and brought me back a little wiser. - BBC Manchester Introducing - Jim Suthertland

"God is in the TV"

Getting a crowd of more than a few old drunk men to listen to blues is no easy challenge in Manchester, but last Tuesday, Blind Atlas proved they are more than capable of taking it on. They are a band who are definitely made for the headline slot, as their music seems to take on the atmosphere of each individual performance and make it something unique for that evening. Growling vocals from singer Ross Thompson complement the music perfectly, as his Colorado upbringing provide the band with that inimitable infusion of cool that only an American accent can provide. With a sound that suggests experience far beyond their years, and an obvious love for what they do, Blind Atlas are definitely a band worth watching out for, as their music is truly something special. - God is in the TV - Toni Butler-Williamson

"Blind Atlas - When Americana met Mancunia"

IT'S the day after Valentines Day, yet Manchester band Blind Atlas aren’t exactly over-flowing with romantic ardour when CityLife meets them on a brisk February evening.

Seated in a Deansgate boozer, the Chorlton-based country-rock foursome are doing what they do best in their downtime – and that’s drinking vast volumes of alcohol and contemplating their many, many romantic woes.

“All our songs are based on relationships,” says Blind Atlas’ bearded frontman and sole American member Ross Thompson, before taking a big gulp of Guinness.

“When we write songs, I invariably end up picking away at the wreckage of all my failed relationships. It’s very cathartic to write about.

Wide-eyed fledgling

''There’s been many experiences over the years for me to pick at. I’ve been through the mill when it comes to women.”

‘Experience’ might be the key word here. Despite being just 24 (although his thick beard adds on about a decade), Ross has lived the sort of peripatetic rock’n’roller lifestyle which makes Seasick Steve look like a wide-eyed fledgling.

Born and raised in Colorado, USA, into a music-loving family (his dad played in Irish folk bands), Ross has lived variously in Denver, Boston and New York, all the while playing in numerous rock bands with minimal success.

About 18 months ago, on the advice of a British friend, he bravely crossed the Atlantic and moved to Chorlton, a place he describes as, “feeling like home” the minute he arrived there.

Cultural ambassador

In fact, the Chorlton tourist office should probably employ Ross as their next cultural ambassador such is his love for the South Manchester area.

“For me, Chorlton is almost like living again in Brooklyn,” enthuses Ross rather bizarrely.

“I know that sounds like a bit of a crazy thing to say, but there are definite similarities. They both have that real bohemian, creative artistic vibe and there’s a great drinking culture. I felt at home the minute I stepped foot in the place.”

The sense of homeliness was no doubt helped by Ross’ new best British friends – guitarist Adam Jones, bass player Cam Baxter and drummer Christian Jacobs.

Transatlantic love-in

Three likeminded souls who Ross befriended on the Chorlton bar scene (most memorably, Ross accosted Adam in The Bar and said he liked his Flying Burrito Brothers T-shirt), they are the three men who complete the line-up of Blind Atlas.

So, after The Earlies, and erm, Terry Christian and Coolio, it’s time to welcome stage three of the transatlantic, Manchester music love-in.

With Ross providing the grizzled vocals and heart-wrenching lyric sheet, the three Brits create the robust yet rustic musical soundscape – think Ryan Adams fronting The Black Keys, or perhaps Fleet Foxes with a Led Zepellin fixation; and clearly all designed to soundtrack long, whisky-addled nights of anguished soul-searching.

Most intriguingly – as far as us listeners are concerned – is what the band call a ‘mini battle’ of their British and American melancholic sensibilities.

Sense of melancholia

“There is quite a unique conflict of British and American musical styles,” explains Cam.

“For us, melancholia is such a British musical trait – you think of Morrissey and The Smiths, or folk singers like Nick Drake.

But Ross, because of his musical background, brings this completely different sort of melancholia.

Sleazy New York bar

Ross’ sense of melancholia is more like 4am, drinking whisky in a sleazy New York bar. He’s more Ryan Adams or Tom Waits melancholy.”

“It’s like a melancholic overload!” smiles Ross. “There’s this battle of Americana versus Britannia – and it’s producing some really amazing music.”

Nevertheless, the most important battle – the one to win the hearts of Manchester music fans – is one that’s looking more and more victorious.

A year’s worth of frantic gigging has seen the band win support slots with the likes of Deadstring Brothers, they’ve become regulars at (where else?) Chorlton’s Blowout night,

Rigid pigeonhole

And most excitingly, the band have just about amassed enough material for a debut album which they plan to release themselves in the spring.

“It’s important for us to make a modern sounding rock record,” declares Adam.

“We often get called an Americana or country band in reviews, but that’s quite a rigid pigeonhole. On record, we want to make something as intelligent and sonically diverse as Radiohead or Elbow.”

It’s been a long journey so far; one that’s boldly crossed the Atlantic and taken a detour through various messy romantic encounters.

Angst-ridden types

But 2009 should finally see Blind Atlas navigate their path to rock’n’roll glory, and maybe even raise a few smiles along the way.

“Our songs might be melancholic, but we’re far from being miserable, angst-ridden types,” says Ross. “Just buy us a few drinks and we’re all smiles.”

By David Sue

Published: Tue, 17 February, 2009 - Manchester Evening News


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...