Live Review: Blackwaters - Jimmy's, Manchester 16/07/2018


Britain's best live band leaves another mark.

I recently reviewed the new BlackWaters EP "People Street". It's a wonderful listen from start to finish and is a phenomenal take on modern guitar music. I also made it very clear that you have to see this band live. And the reason why you need to go now is by the sheer strength of their show- you're not gonna be paying a fiver to see them for much longer. We're lucky enough to be going through a very prolific era of post-punk revival music with bands like Shame and IDLES crossing over slowly to the mainstream. BlackWaters are gonna be the next to take that step up. They possess more energy, dynamism, humour and sheer fun than any of these bands put together. And fuck me, do they have the tunes to match.

Slinking onstage slowly to "The Song", a red herring is thrown to the audience thinking that this is gonna be a slow burning rock'n'roll. Less than five minutes later, the pace is raised quite impolitely by a frankly filthy version of "Fuck Yeah"- frontman Max Tanner inciting the first of many mosh pits throughout the show. The pace of the show until we're all forced to leave- the only pause in the breakneck speed was a cheeky nod to Shame's "The Lick" prior to "I Got It Wrong". It was a typically ramshackle punk rock show; drinks everywhere, disassembled drumkits (Tanner jumping into drummer James Watkins was a particular highlight but the man hardly dropped a beat), members losing leads, mic stands and occasionally their balance. But this sheer negligence for their own safety adds to the thrilling nature of the gig. Approaching the end of the tour, Jimmy's were more than happy providing able backing vocals to songs such as "People Street", "Down" and "Let the Good Times Roll" to help out the physically exhausted frontman who must have leaked multiple litres of sweat on an incredibly hot evening in Manchester.

The band have a gang mentality to them that's been practised since the emergence of The Libertines but never truly and effortlessly mastered. Each member bounces off the next like they've been doing it since birth. Each member exudes  a different personality that compliments the next perfectly. By the time the night ends with the Blood Red Shoes-esque "So Far Out"- Manchester is assured that these boys are the next big thing. As punk rock rears its ugly head towards the mainstream once more, these boys make for perfect poster boys. Let the Good Times Roll indeed.

Words by James Kitchen