BlackWaters, The Merchants, COW: Sound, Liverpool



BlackWaters, COW and The Merchants are a high quality bounty provided by Sound, GetintothisSteven Doherty presents the evidence.

COW kick us off with a sensational opening track, featuring the first in a long line of genuinely thrilling song-ending crescendos involving broken guitar strings, bringing to mind what Kings Of Leon would sound like if they had kept down the path of the first album and still cared what they sounded like.

All squally vocals and crunchy guitars with a bluesy everyman vibe, COW have a world of opportunities open to them as they’d fit in on the same bill, and do justice to, pretty much anyone out there.

Tracks abound from their debut EP, All My Friends Are Dead To Me, which on the evidence of what we’ve seen is well worth a purchase, the title track sounding particularly early 90s grunge, if that’s your bag.

A lovely start to the night, but a point off for the self-indulgent closer.

The Merchants supported The Mysterines at last December Jimmy’s gig, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s very much the sound of now.

All the vibe of snarly early Arctics, typical Radio X indie-lite bluster – there’s so much of it about these days.

All perfectly serviceable, with Together Alone the highlight of the set, as it’s the moment where they show their soul.

In fact, it’s the songs where the acoustic comes out that are by far the most interesting prospects.

That’s the path they need to go down.

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Between The Merchants and the headliners, the venue seems to develop a slow burst.

By the time they arrive, there’s maybe half as many people watching them, but they turn out to be twice the band.

Guildford four-piece BlackWaters jump confidently onstage and launch into the double blast of I’m Not Your Man and 21 Lessons.

The new stuff is still ferocious, but a bit of the punk edges have been polished off.

Then we get what’s becoming a bizarre trait of Liverpool gigs, the spectacle of more camera people than actual audience.

The front row temporarily resembles a disgraced politician’s resignation press conference, judging by the amount of flashing camera bulbs.

We digress.

BlackWaters are a fizz bomb of frenetic energy, they own the tiny Sound stage, as it becomes clear that they love a cowbell.

Forget Myself becomes an obvious highlight, and then it’s more cowbell (yes more) in the form of an interlude which leads into a raucous People Street.

The mood drops for Love Is A Future Computer, but it’s a temporary measure as F**k Yeah kicks it’s way in, heralding a closing salvo of the earlier punkier singles, and then they’re gone.

Their recorded stuff left a bit of question mark over them, whether or not they could cut it, but tonight shows they are the real deal.

Photos by Getintothis’ Conor Baxter





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