BLACKWATERS + SCHOOL DISCO + WAVE CHASE – THE PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 13.12.21
Tonight, the rather wonderful BlackWaters concluded their 10 date headline tour here in Brighton at The Prince Albert in support of their first proper album ‘Something Good In Lost Time’, which was unleashed on 19th November.
Prior to the band kicking off the tour they said:
“We started this band after being randomly selected in a lecture to get on stage and perform ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings Of Leon back in college. We started this band because when we played live as a collective – and not to sugarcoat it, we sounded incredible”.
“The only fundamental differences between then and now are the new songs on this debut album, and you. We didn’t know each other then, but if you’re new here or have been around for a while, get to know us, because this is our most important tour yet”
And now post tour, the band are clearly very relieved to have got through all of the dates without any Covid setbacks and have stated:
“There’s nothing like sleeping on a wooden floor to make you reflect on your first tour in 2 years. It’s been the perfect welcome back into the world of touring and live shows, something we missed dearly. So thank you to everyone who bought a ticket, you are what made these shows so memorable”.
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team are certainly no strangers to BlackWaters, having seen them perform live in Brighton on all of their four previous occasions. These being at The Hope & Ruin on 10th February 2020, The Hope & Ruin on 23rd October 2018, Patterns on 15th October 2017 and we initially caught up with them in town as part of The Great Escape, when they rocked their socks off in the Queens Hotel on 19th May 2017. Each of these previous performances were filled with so much energy that we concluded that they are a band not to be missed. Thus we are back with them this evening at The Prince Albert.
Sheffield based BlackWaters are Maximillian Tanner (vocals/tambourine), David Carpenter (Fender guitar/occasional backing vocals), Ollie Franklin (bass guitar/Yamaha Reface CS synthesizer/Backing vocals) and James Watkins (drums) and for live work, their number is boosted by Bailey Stapledon on Casio and Novation keyboards plus tambourine.
This evening we were treated to 13 compositions, 7 of which can be found on the latest 10 song platter, which in general offers up a much less raw punky edge to their sound and is arguably more polished. I can liken it to the journey of the Skids from 1979 to 1981 when they too started out as out and out punk and then somewhat mellowed and added the use of synthesizers. Thus BlackWaters have been previously described by us as…..“being just like Bristol band IDLES meets sub three minute 1976 punk rock. So any self respecting punk needs some BlackWaters in their life”. We latterly added “You can hear the band’s influences in their material, which includes many a famous name including Dead Kennedys, The Clash, Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, The Ramones, The Velvet Underground and Palma Violets”.
This time around, they have rolled out a more mature polished sound, as bore witness by their first two opening tracks tonight ‘All The Wrong People’ and ‘Same Old’ from the new ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album. They are migrating or even mutating into a new sphere, which is arguably indie pop.
Song three this evening was the 2019 single ‘Forget Myself’ and it immediately becomes apparent that this is a pre-covid composition as it has a heavier sound to start with, but then chugs along nicely. Their 2017 punk classic single ‘F*ck Yeah’ follows and this is harder than their 2019 output and is still to this day my favourite tune of theirs.
New album tracks ‘Be Your Guide’ and ‘Can You Swim?’ follow, which both offer up a more depth in sound and the latter benefitting from Bailey Stapledon’s use of combined Casio and Novation keyboard work. We were then in contrast whisked back to 2017 with their classic ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ single. Track 8 was new number ‘Uptight’, which again combines the Casio and Novation keys, this time in an 80s synth disco intro that becomes a decent indie tune that you could imagine Blondie having played circa ‘Heart Of Glass’ era. One should note that it has nothing to do with the Stevie Wonder song of the same name.
‘People Street’ was up next and this was followed by the U2-esque ‘Simple Pleasures’ and then the 2019 single ‘I’m Not Your Man’ got an airing. This tune reminded me of The Motors ‘Dancing The Night Away’ and ‘Airport’ especially on the chorus. The penultimate number was the classic 2017 single ‘Down’, which still sounds great. They just about managed to squeeze in the closing number and title track of the new LP ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ which most certainly again benefitted of the presence of Bailey on keyboards, as towards the end of the tune, it was sounding rather like classic 1979/80 Gary Numan. The clock had hit exactly 11pm and the live quintet left the stage to much applause.
Yes they are evolving. Yes I prefer their earlier initial releases. Yes I would most definitely go and see them live again in order to keep tabs of their musical journey.
Max Tanner – vocals
David Carpenter – guitar/backing vocals
Ollie Franklin – bass/synth
James Watkins – drums
Bailey Stapledon – keys/synth (for live work)
‘All The Wrong People’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
‘Same Old’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
‘Forget Myself’ (found on 2019 ‘Forget Myself’ single)
‘F*ck Yeah’ (found on 2019 self-released CDR ‘BlackWaters’ album)
‘Be Your Guide’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
‘Can You Swim?’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
‘Let The Good Times Roll’ (found on 2019 self-released CDR ‘BlackWaters’ album)
‘Uptight’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
‘People Street’ (found on 2019 self-released CDR ‘BlackWaters’ album)
‘Simple Pleasures’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
‘I’m Not Your Man’ (found on 2019 ‘I’m Not Your Man’ single)
‘Down’ (found on 2019 self-released CDR ‘BlackWaters’ album)
‘Something Good In Lost Time’ (found on 2021 ‘Something Good In Lost Time’ album)
BlackWaters are on Bandcamp.
Find out more about BlackWaters by visiting their ‘linktree’ HERE.
We were fortunate to have two support bands this evening. The first of these were Brighton based Wave Chase who have migrated here from Bournemouth. Here is yet another really decent BIMM Brighton product consisting of four young lads, who are George Kingnan (vocals/guitar), Tim Baldwin (Fender Mustang bass/backing vocals), Mickey Golicher (Fender Mustang guitar/Backing vocals) and Charlie Cane (drums).
The lads graced us with their presence from 8:30pm until 8:59pm and during this 29 minute feel good indie pop set, we were given eight quality tunes and that’s eight quality tunes that I would most certainly like to hear again live really soon!
They had most certainly got the support from the crowd from the very start, with some of those simply attending this Prince Albert gig, with the sole purpose of watching only them.
They opened with ‘Feet Don’t Follow’ which was trumped by ‘Can’t You See’ which is a fun little number. Song three was ‘Cool’ which featured a catchy chorus of “It’s so coo ooo ool”. Their latest single ‘Call Me Selfish’ was up next and a very deserved single it is too.
‘Lead Balloon’ with its Nirvana sounding start morphed into an Arctic Monkeys sound and it was then that it dawned on me that this young act would be perfect for The Great Escape new music festival, which is to be held throughout our city this coming May.
Wave Chase are clearly inspired by their new surroundings as they have written the next number, ‘By The Sea’, about Brighton, they informed us and this was the highlight of their set. Mind you, their following number came very close. This was ‘Talk Tonight’ which included a central added section of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’. The final number, ‘Walk The Walk’, suddenly saw drummer Charlie come into his own with a glam rock style intro that took me back half a century.
As far as I’m concerned, Wave Chase have massive chart potential and are a great example of exactly why you should always get to a gig on time in order to watch all of the support bands. When’s the next gig then lads?
Wave Chase are:
George Kingnan – vocals/guitar
Tim Baldwin – bass
Mickey Golicher – guitar
Charlie Cane – drums
Wave Chase setlist:
‘Feet Don’t Follow’
‘Can’t You See’
‘Call Me Selfish’
‘By The Sea’
‘Talk Tonight’/‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’/‘Talk Tonight’
‘Walk The Walk’
Visit Wave Chase’s ‘linktree’ for more information.
The second support this evening were School Disco who I had originally seen live at The Richmond on 25th October 2018. Back then I reported thus:
“They were followed by Brighton’s very own School Disco trio. Who I have to laughingly convey have the biggest band name misrepresentation in the business, as you really couldn’t get as far away from Chic’s ‘Le Freak’ and Funkadelic’s ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ if you tried – nice one lads! They say they are a ‘surfing psych pop trio’ but once again, I would respectfully refute this and say they were tonight more a dirge version of heavy metal kids, who share vocal duties when they are not performing an instrumental. They had so much power and distortion coming from just three guys, it was quite amazing really”
Tonight, I would re-evaluate the trio’s performance which commenced at 9:16pm. The band are Rory Lethbridge (Gibson guitar/vocals), Laur Underwood (Squier bass) and Luke Shaw (drums). They (as were their predecessors) were bathed in bloody red light which is a nightmare for photography, but ideal for Amsterdam by night so I hear. I was informed that there were 12 presets of different coloured light available. No doubt all feature red.
Our friends bathed in red kicked off with ‘Poison’ which features some decent psych guitar work, as did the follow up ‘Echoes’ with its impressive use of wahhh wahhh foot pedal. Jimi Hendrix would have approved. More decent psych followed and tune four, ‘Dadada’, was more of a drumming led affair. The more songs they played – and there weren’t many of them, six to be precise – the more I got into them and enjoyed their set.
‘Turning Winds’ was most certainly offering us garage psych noise surf rock and did I spy some Stooges style vocals here? They concluded with ‘Cats Gone Wild’. This is a band that has come a long way since I last saw them down at The Richmond many moons ago. God knows if I had consumed any psychedelic substances prior to this performance, I would be away with the fairies. Some might say that I already am. Must dash, I’m off to Woodstock…..
School Disco are:
Rory Lethbridge – guitar/vocals
Laur Underwood – bass
Luke Shaw – drums
School Disco setlist:
‘Cats Gone Wild’
School Disco are on Bandcamp.