After 60 minutes of standing in Reading's sweltering Sub89, with a support act provided via CD and in the form of an insipidly whimsical female vocalist, to say I was starting to feel a mite miffed was quite the understatement. The Blanks faced an uphill battle in winning me over. Still, it took them about five minutes.
Powering their way through an almost entirely a cappella set, the group otherwise known as "Ted's band from Scrubs" combined pitch-perfect harmonies with eclectic song choices, all the while exuding a collective charisma that left this reviewer sporting a Cheshire cat-like grin. Mixing theme tunes from American TV shows with "the four greatest rock songs ever" (somehow including Lollipop...) and a Ukulele-led version of Outkast's Hey Ya may appear a peculiar recipe but the Blanks delivered with a gusto that was impossible to dislike. Any band that manages to seamlessly incorporate a talking Chip Hazard action figure into one of their songs deserves huge kudos (and a level of fearful respect). Let's be honest - when your a cappella set causes the crowd to throw up the devil-horns rock hand-sign, you know you're doing it right.
Meeting the quartet after the show, one quickly realises that their joyful onstage presence is due to their being four funny, easy-going guys who share a passion for what they do. No pretention, no ego - Sam, George, Philip and Paul are an absolute pleasure. Covering a slew of topics during our conversation, the band talk about Scrubs (inside scoop; Sam and Paul were actually Hibbleton...), their quest for a singing duck, a keenness to take on Take That and Rick Astley's back catalogues, and future plans that involve both acting and singing; a combination of which will be in their upcoming video 'Guy Love', adapted from the Scrubs musical episode.
What else next? Well, judging by the elated response of the Reading audience, a tour of bigger arenas surely beckons. Something utterly different and completely enjoyable; like the Blanks themselves, it might just be crazy enough to work...