Blackwaters are a young band that are now based in Sheffield having come together at college in Guildford, Surrey. They actually hail from Essex, Northamptonshire and South London. The members are vocalist Maximilian Tanner, guitarist David Carpenter and the rhythm section is made up of Ollie Franklin on the bass guitar and James Watkins on drums. I first saw them in York a few weeks ago when they were supporting Hello Operator. They have said that their influences include punk, although they rightly say that this is nor never was a genre. I completely agree, for me punk was always about attitude and these boys have a stack of that.

They apparently love the Modern Lovers, Ramones, the Dead Kennedys, the Clash and Lou Reed and frankly so do I. While Max’s lyrics are heavily influenced by John Cooper Clarke. They have also had a couple of songs produced by Carl Barât of the Libertines, it was their powerful songs “Down” and “So Far Out” if you’re interested. They met Carl when they were supporting his sister’s band. When I saw their stunning set at the Crescent in York back in March they struck me as easily one of the best young UK bands out there right now. I have an overwhelming belief that John Peel would have loved them. Their energy seems perpetual and they totally get how to win an audience over. Thankfully they don’t seem to follow or bow to the confines of fashion or genres and are very much a band on their own and in control of their destiny. I heard elements of the Fall and Cabbage in their powerful live set. One thing they have on their side which perhaps some of their contemporaries lack is that they seem to be very empathetic to the situation of the vast number of disaffected youths in the UK and they wear their politics on their sleeves. They release a new EP very soon, called ‘People Street’ and they will be playing a number of UK dates in May in support of it. You will also be able to see them at Camden Rocks in June. They have previously appeared at Kendal Calling and Live At Leeds. Some of their existing songs have instant anthem written all over them, notably “Fuck Yeah” and “Jarr’ed Up Generation” both of which have choruses that are difficult to get out of your head, although why would you want to lose them? This is a band with the potential to make it very big and everyone here at Northern Radar hope that they do too!

Written by Bill Adamson


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