Metal Hammer Mag Germany – Temptator!

First released digitally at the end of 2022, the sixth album by the Australian dark blues rockers is finally available on vinyl (in a limited first edition of 500 copies). Not unlike Seattle’s Walking Papers, the trio builds on a stylistic foundation of grunge, rolling blues, creaky alternative rock(abilly) and sepia-washed Tom Waits miner’s mannerisms that sometimes raise the question of how the coolest of all rock bunnies would have done as a frontman for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or even Queens Of The Stone Age. An exceptional album by the exceptional band from Brisbane, which really deserves the exclamation mark in the title with steam hammers like ‘Everything Always’, tales like ‘Ode To Ol’ John Doe’ or dark garage rockers like ‘The Highway’.

– Frank Thießies


Brisbane, Aussie’s gritty, dark rock and rollers, The Blackwater Fever present their 6th studio album, ‘Temptator’.

Already accruing a global fan base, including in excess of 95,000 monthly Spotify listeners, a taster of TBF’s signature sound of pure soulful, heart-wrenching blues rock was available, via the soul-grinding single, ‘The Hurt’, preceding the album, in 2022.

Having received worldwide airplay and featured on various TV channels, films and campaigns; the latest being Showtime’s ‘Shameless’, ABC’s ‘Mystery Road’ and ‘The Peaky Blinders Festival’, UK, TBF have performed alongside numerous well-known bands. For instance, The Black Keys, The Hu, Clutch, Truckfighters, Violent Soho, Tame Impala, Birds Of Tokyo, Ash Grunwald, Mia Dyson, Adrian Belew (King Crimson), The Datsuns, Black Diamond Heavies, etc.

Love Is Strange – Eerie, isolated sound effects intro, onto a grungy refrain. Raw, emotive vocals follow. Plenty of reverb echo. Low down tones, bluesy atmospherics and a strong underlying bass note. That tonal depth is the crux of the track, emphasising the rare higher pitches, all the more, towards the end. Smoothly fading out.

My Weakness – Very AIC-esque opening, echoing ‘Black Gives Way To Blue’, drifting into a somnolent melody. The more acute tones are again, accentuated, by the deep majority of the rest. Good command of attack and retreat, nailing the placing of piano keys and shadowed ethereality of melody. A very veiled song, to the end. Closing on a drum roll more powerful than the rest.

The Boogie Woogie – Opening on a combo of synth, electronica, drum and bass, with an underlying grit. A fun rhythmic arrangement, throwing in a flat mid-section, then raising the tone and volume. Still quite dark, vocally. Short, but definitive.

The Hurt – Great bluesy intro riff! Really stacked with strong emotion. So bluesy and so, so plausible. That vocal gravel speaks volumes. The combo of that and the finely timed accompaniments really make a statement. Building power and holding it back, so teasingly. Such a strikingly sensual song. That rawness is just amplified by the contrasting orchestral instrumentals. Very fine ending.

Ode To Ol’ John Doe – Carefully plucked acoustic riffs open. An even deeper vocal. Hauntingly deep, echoing into the atmosphere. Random breaths punctuate the air. Growing into a sharp string section, stretching out, into a bigger, cave-like yawning entrance. Remaining vocally dark and deep, to the ending, swallowed by nature, itself.

Everything Always – A faster pace, straight off, with strong 90’s Brit rock tendencies, building, rapidly, into a stronger rock essence. Lots of slide emphasis, working well. Diverging vocal styles, adding a delicious strand of intrigue. This wastes no time and it’s over in a flash.

The Slew – Slow intro, bluesy, psychedelic and blast beats centred. Evolving into an alternative, unpredictably changeable sound. Quiescent bridge, with something of a ghostly emphasis. A real delayed gratification, here. Sudden loudness follows, blending contrasting pitches. Fading on sci-fi-esque atmospherics and wobble effect.

The Highway – Taking off, like a plane runway effect. Taking it steady, sustaining the evocative atmosphere. A little more sensuous. Very catchy rhythm. Combining sounds and styles, impressively well. Much can be heard in here, including grunge, blues, alt rock, Brit rock, punk, psychedelia and all hitting just the right synchronous notes. Fading out on an intuitively timed drum beat and slide riff, electrically delivered.

Angler – A gradual emergence, leaving space to imagine. Well crafted arrangements again, convey enigma. Pace slow, but speeding up, periodically, with strong drum focus. Lots of imagery. A gathering cyclical power sustains the intrigue. Quite a lot of depth to this. Slowly building stronger tempo, in an ever expanding circle. A deep bass line fades it out, with some echoic drum hits, creating a wilderness of its own.

If You Only Knew – Another slow, but meaningful start. A sultry sense emanates. Very deeply atmospheric, once more. Here, the echo’s used, to maximum effect. Imaginative lyrics, so impassioned and convincing. Gorgeous blend of riffage and vocals, towards the bridge. From there, it gets very Portishead-esque. Fading and prominent, at all the most effective points. Truly evocative stuff. That shattering depth hits so hard, towards the end, lingering in the memory.

Overall – Having been introduced to ‘The Hurt’, at the latter end of 2022, I knew to expect good things from ‘Temptator’, but this just nails it. The crooning, agonised darkness you hear, throughout the album is performed to the highest standard, bleeding conviction, from start to finish. This is the rawest delivery, conveyed with complete cohesion. So in sync, TBF have crafted ‘Temptator’ from a place of true honesty and connection. From the depths of sorrow and authenticity comes a genuine blues rock classic.

10/10 – Jenny Tate


Ever had The Blackwater Fever? They say it does strange things to a man but in Brisbane it happens to be a three piece, dark alternative, bluesy rock’n’roll band. Previously, we have reviewed a few singles, but as of October 27th, the new album came out containing these and so much more. Temptator! is the album and the band consists of Shane Hicks (vocals, guitar, bass, keys, percussion), Trevor Gee (drums, percussion) and Jed A Walters (bass, keys). If Jed’s name is familiar, you might have come across his other fantastic project, Chiffon Magnifique.

Some albums are hard to review. Not because they are bad….well some are, but there are others that when you listen, it kind of feels a little wrong to be taking it track by track. Instead I am going to tell you that The Blackwater Fever never leave their blue roots but they do indeed traverse a lot of styles. A mixture of imagination and soul, woven around real experiences of love, loss and betrayal.
The rock’n’roll of “Love Is Strange” about a beguiling female or the bayou slow blues of “The Hurt” are examples of burning resentment of being badly treated, smouldering and flamed by pain.

Weaving immersive stories like “Ode To Ol’ John Doe“, the dumped human remains in a body of water, just below the surface, for no one to mourn as the creatures below slowly consume them or there is the gothic stirrings of “The Highway” in a world gone mad.

And one always needs at least one track about love and lust. The dulcet Stone Temple Pilot styling, of absolute need in “My Weakness” that gets you in the throat, heavy and tangible obsession with those amazing, stirring vocals. There is so much depth within Temptator!, and The Blackwater Fever dances with dark themes that make for interesting music, melded with such passion, you might find you really do have the Fever.



The brand new 10-song full-length studio album Temptator! by The Blackwater Fever, is the Brisbane-based group’s sixth release and it is a buoyant mix of punk, grunge and acid rock all infused with blues-laden lyrics, which are clever and thought-provoking.

The first track, “Love is Strange”, is an ode to love gone wrong….very wrong! Equal parts desperation and resignation, all laid out with a bass-heavy alt-rock feel.

The love gone wrong theme continues with “My Weakness”, a murky look at an obsessive love that tears you apart emotionally. The lover eventually accepts that the weakness is slowly killing him.

“Now I rust and I bleed
I’m sick and diseased
I’ll never knock on heaven’s door
When I’m dead lay me deep ’n low”

This is good, dramatic songwriting at its best.

“The Hurt” is a slow boil of a song that just works so well! Through the driving rhythm and the painful cries there is a building of mournfulness that eventually reaches a crashing wave of despair. When you come out on the other side, the track simply ends beautifully and perfectly.

“Ode to Ol’ John Doe” is exquisitely different, slightly deranged and 100% enjoyable!

“The river she cries
And the willow replied
Don’t weep for him”

If you were to take Ludo’s, “Lake Pontchartrain”, lose the satire and strip it down to its basic feeling of desperation, you would get “Ode to Ol’ John Doe.” This song crosses so many genres of music that it surely has an appeal to everyone.

“The Slew” and “The Highway” are shadowy and dreary, while at the same time hard-driving and frenetic, total bad-ass tracks, worthy of a blues or punk fan.

This reviewers favorite track is “If You Only Knew.”

“I haul my shadow down Into the woods
And I head to the end of the line
By light of the moon
Now I’ve dug this hole so deep
That it’s caving in on me”

Shane Hicks paints the most vivid picture of the desolation of a desperate man. Each verse ends as an apology of sorts to his mother, his lover and finally his daughter. The instruments are perfectly understated to give power to the lyrics. I hope this track gets the airplay it deserves!

Temptator! is an album that is a perfect, tangible model of how to blend several musical styles for maximum listening delight.

T.M. Strubel

Illustrate Magazine – Temptator!

The brand new 10-song full-length studio album “Temptator!” by The Blackwater Fever, is the Brisbane-based group’s sixth release and it is full of wonderful surprises!

‘Temptator!’ is an album that is nothing short of abstract, coming at you from all angles, making it worth diving into because there’s every blend of 50s rock, blues, grunge and prog, and of course contemporary rollicking sounds. The songs are far more dramatic and emotional than you could guess, twisting into energetic performances, showcasing The Blackwater Fever’s unique take on music and so many genres. From bourbon-soaked ballads to somber, nut-kickers like “My Weakness” and “The Highway,” from deep blues-driven alt-rock cuts like “Love is Strange” to the super funky punk blast that is “Everything Always,” the band keeps it rhythmic in “The Boogie Woogie” and a killer vibe in the prog-rock realms of “The Slew”.

The album “Temptator!” is a surprising crossover that will remind you of many like-sounding bands from the past, but in a moody trip concocted from cutting-edge modernity that you’re not ready for! If you like what you hear, go tune into Spotify or check out Bandcamp to listen to The Blackwater Fever’s full album right now!

– Audrey Castel

La Habitacion 235 – Temptator!

The Blackwater Fever returns under its best emotional flow in “Temptator”

Since last 2020 they have been distributing various singles to their discography that since last Friday have been brought together under the same title, “Temptator”, the sixth installment of this Australian combo residing in Brisbane.

We have witnessed following the track of this new offspring in which we definitely fell in love with the dynamism and aesthetics of this band, which makes a clear mastery of its functions in each album. From here on, the most versatile factor enters fully, since they are not musicians who especially fall into a particular genre, rather their songs are a showcase of many styles, and “Temptator” is undoubtedly a great vein to corroborate these words.

Always under this gloomy decoration, the alternation of his compositions leaves moments to be enjoyed in standard brand songs. Perhaps this is the point that I always see as the negative point of the band since I met them in the outstanding “The Depths” (review here), since precisely in that title that you mentioned, compositions like you are, lengthening their brand and delving into its harmonies and spirituality, we would be talking about something really wonderful.

Colorful as the best nickname for them, “Temptator” does not leave aside that progressive value in the musicality of Australians, bringing its own atmosphere to create images that draw on the thoughts of the listener and discover those nights, typical of film noir, where the songs from The Blackwater Fever are their best soundtrack.

“Temptator” is not without that collection of hooks to create that magnetic field between his music and the emotions of the listener. A kind of psychedelic blues with a really creepy atmosphere inside, it absorbs these 10 new songs into the schematic of the Australians. From then on, the modus operandis continues to carry that mid-tempo technique but unmistakably electric in its making, captivating in its many harmonies. From that magnificent seductive closing that is “If You Only Knew”, going through the Machiavellian “The Boogie Woogie” to delving into the darkest western with the ballad “Ode To Ol’ John Doe”, one of those peak moments on the album leaving a totally dusty countenance to its chameleonic atmosphere.

The entrance of “Temptator” is good with the first hooks of “Love It Strange”, taking its sidereal inclinations to a seductive frame and somewhat heavier themes in its riffs like “My Weakness”. More grit in this case is left by another of those notable entrants to the record with “The Hurt”, but for notable tracks keep “Angler” in its final stretch, as the best poetry to frame another of those Blackwater Fever records that returns to take us through his best emotional flow for these outlaws. A return to that proposal as another one of those disturbing journeys, transmitting from its floating effervescent state, another one of those exercises that quickly connects with the best vibrations.

– Ruben Herrera

The Point Music News – Temptator!

Brisbane’s The Blackwater Fever have teased enough with a string of singles, and now that has all culminated in the release of their sixth full-length studio album, ‘Temptator!’.

The new album is packed tight with creative hooks, sharp turns and dynamism, with The Blackwater Fever leapfrogging genres with their distinctive sonic aesthetic.

‘Temptator!’ is super intense, and moodier than a hormone-raged teenager. While everything is covered in a darker tone, with an alt-blues bed, The Blackwater Fever play Temptator! out like a fever dream, moving from bourbon-soaked ballads, to brooding, nut-kickers like ‘My Weakness’ and ‘The Highway’, from deep blues-soaked alt-rock cuts like ‘Love is Strange’, and the dirty punk blast that is ‘Everything Always’, the trio toss and turn in sweat-soaked sheets. The real fun is when the album takes left turns into prog-rock territory, resulting in muddy grooves like ‘The Boogie Woogie’ and the completely off-kilter ‘The Slew’. ‘Temptator!’ Is a flat-out abstract of an album, coming at you from all angles, with layers of blood, bones and dirt covering a tonne of gold.

With 13 million plus Spotify stream, shows with The Black Keys, Tame Impala, and The Hu, The Blackwater Fever have also featured on Showtime TV series, ‘Shameless’.

On ‘Temptator!’ The Blackwater Fever expand on their eclectic combination of blues, 50s rock, gunge, prog, and new wave, and produce the weird offspring of later Queens of the Stone Age and Clutch; it deserves a deep dive and loud play.

– Rhys Fox


With a name like The Blackwater Fever, they sound exactly the way that you hope they will sound: ‘70s fuzz galore and that raspy, bluesy vocal style that has been modernized by artists like Dan Auerbach and his career in The Black Keys. The Blackwater Fever’s latest single is aptly called “The Hurt” and anyone listening will hang on every word entering their earholes, thanks to Shane Hicks’ talent for sounding heartbreakingly convincing.

“The Hurt” is not a song that will melt your face off; it’s not blazing down the highway at 150 bpm. In fact, this track is a raw, bluesy ballad; however, it is also proof that you only need three or four chords to write something that sounds like gold. As long as the rhythm section has their chops in order (spoilers: they do) and the vocalist has passion and charisma (spoilers: he does), you can crank out a gem that will hold its own next to anything currently sitting in any Top 10 list.

Side note: these guys are not your everyday indie band submitting music for a review. In fact, I’m not even sure how they found us or how they thought we could help, but their successes include having their music featured on Showtime’s Shameless, as well as touring with Tame Impala and the aforementioned The Black Keys. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to hearing more from these Brisbane rockers, provided they don’t get so big that they forget about us.



Any CD that cheekily starts with the signature cracklenpop of a needle hitting vinyl has got my attention. In fact this same attention lasts an entire 50mins as this Brisbane two-piece conjures sweaty musicianship with a far darker and echoed lustre akin to Mark Lanegan jamming with Buddy Guy after a close-call with zombies in New Orleans. In fact its the seedy undercarriage of the songwriting that sets this apart from the guitar and drums club of Mess Hall, Black Keys, White Stripes et al. Apart of the US-friendly vocal delivery, these guys offer an authentic slap of grime, mud and hopeless regret within their twang and thud. Its refreshingly bleak, mysteriously accomplished (these guys are masters of restraint well beyond their vintage) and comfortably confident. Airplay beckons but probably not in their own country as they’re just a little too good.


Debut CD for the Brisbane duo, and it is brimming with dirty, swampy blues. It is so raw at times you can hear the blood. Shane Hick’s vocals are perfect for this – gruff, nasty and full of dread, and with lyrics like “Late at night she will feed, and won’t rest till she’s picked my bones clean”, you better worry. ‘Blackwater’ races along behind the relentless stomp of the drums, and the guitar gets tortured to an itch of its life. But it is not all ‘in-your-face’. The title track smoulders then burns under the duo’s weight. That said, it is when they kick the heifer in the arse with tracks like ‘Lovesick’ that The Blackwater Fever really shine (in a dirty way).



While most of us may view blues as one of those dusty old toys that you keep in the attic and only bring out long enough to show it off to your friends, The Blackwater Fever is a whole new breed. This two-piece band, originating in Brisbane, has struggled to the top with their new release, Sweet Misery, is unlikely to relinquish their root. Their gritty, garage blues sound is only enhanced by vocalist/guitarist Shane Hicks’ guttural and heartbroken howl.

The songs featured on Sweet Misery vary from upbeat blues-rock to the laid-back blues that started everything off. Such tracks as Back For You and Better Off Dead have that blues sound that is both disgruntled and filled such emotion that you can’t help but wonder what all of it is directed at. In contrast, songs such as Blackwater and Crawlin’ Skin bring you into the garage-blues that most defines Blackwater Fever. Upbeat and gritty, these songs pull the album together and show listeners that this band isn’t going to that crap from anyone.

The title track Sweet Misery has an eerie feel that is so dark and, or a lack of a better word, visual, that you feel as though you yourself have travelled down some back road and found yourself is a shanty town built up years ago and long forgotten. Their song Lovesick is easily noted as either a respectful nod to their predecessors the White Stripes, or a blatant backhanded slap to the two-piece replicas that can’t seem to come up with an original thought of their own. Regardless of which way it was intended, Lovesick is a fast paced, incredibly original and catchy song that scream to be listened to.

Regardless of the music, the presentation alone of the album is inspired. The CD itself has been made up to resemble a record, side A if you will, and the songs have been laid out as though the music were originally put on record and then recorded digitally for the final production. At the beginning and halfway through the album as the introduction and interlude that seem to have gone missing in our digital age. While they aren’t required listening. They still provide a breather so you can take everything in before being blown away yet again. All together, the album is a great piece that anyone who still enjoys a good blues album is sure to lap up.



If tonight’s Zoo bill were a movie, it would be called The Return Of Rock, pt.2. Having first seen openers The Blackwater Fever a couple months ago, I am pleased to suffice that the local garage-blues duo rock harder than ever. Singer Shane Hicks’ hoary voice and raggedy-arse riffs are offset by primal drumbeats, while songs from lauded LP Sweet Misery cut like a knife. The Black Keys, we’ve got one on you.



Brisbane’s own The Blackwater Fever are, unfortunately, always going to be a target for the Two-Piece Backlash – pretty much every duo since The White Stripes has had to deal with the stigma of not coming up with the one-guitar-vocals-drums first. Big whoop. Fact of the matter is two-pieces have to work harder than their larger counterparts to be both engaging for a crowd and to flesh out their songs, and Blackwater handle these tasks with bombast and aplomb. Kicking off with a Lanegan-esque intro before launching into thundering theme song ‘Blackwater’, Sweet Misery’s most obvious strong points are both its energy and gritty-yet-perfect production, while vocalist/guitar man Shane Hicks has a throaty roar and a guitar tone that’d make The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach shit. ‘Good Night Darling, Sweet Dreams’ and ‘Better Off Dead’ prove the fellas can handle the sultrier end of blues, as well as showing off Andrew Walter’s seismic drumming. The title track crops up at the end of “Side A”; a haunting country-flavoured tune laced with violin and wandering boldly into 16 Horsepower territory, before the second half of the album begins with a spaghetti western instrumental. And then it’s off again into the storm of floor tom beats that is ‘Lovesick’. Across much of the album there’s a dark river of vitriolic rock’n’roll; when it lets up for the sensitive stuff, such as ‘Red’, the grit doesn’t fade away, nor does Hicks’ voice fail to measure up. Forget preconceived ideas about what two people in a rock band can achieve: Sweet Misery can bury albums by bands with three times as many members. Rock’n’roll at its best.



Too often, the blues is wheeled out like a dusty old museum piece. Someone, often a genteel white guy, will don a guitar, play a twelve bar progression with a technically proficient blues-wank solo, and say, ‘Look, this is where rock ‘n’ roll came from’. Often that person’s name is Eric Clapton, and he will say, ‘I was in Cream, remember; I used to be God’. But what the Claptons of the world forget is that blues is all about atmosphere and raw passion, and Tsunami favourites The Blackwater Fever have nailed both on their debut longplayer. With its vinyl crackle and staticy interjections of preachers and the like, ‘Sweet Misery’ sounds like The Blackwater Fever have trawled the mythic swamps of the Mississippi to find the music’s primordial essence, filtered it through a sieve of the Fat Possum Records back catalogue, and cooked it all up on an alternative rock griddle to create something that is truly their own. ‘Sweet Misery’ is that rarest of things: a tough, passionate garage blues album that is satisfying from beginning to end even after the umpteenth listen, with barnstorming rockers like ‘Blackwater’ and ‘Lovesick’ working perfectly alongside sludgy lurchers like ‘Good Night Darling, Sweet Dreams’ and the brooding slow-burn of the title track. It’s a song typical of the rough edges and simmering ambience of the album, as Shane Hicks’s gruff voice and guitar-picking ride Andrew Walter’s slithering cymbal rolls and the violin rasp of guest player Alex Archer (Kill Devil Hills) into a sweat-drenched, malarial dream of fuzzy guitar and elemental rhythms. The Blackwater Fever have seen where the blues began, they know where it’s been, and because they treat it like the breathing, dangerously-alive entity that it is, they are also part of where it’s going.

9/10 – STROM


Not for a while has an album title summed up the content so well. I always wondered if two-piece bands are only two-piece bands they have no other friends, but really, Brisbane boys The Blackwater Fever don’t need any other friends. And don’t be expecting no White Stripes imitation – this is dirty swamp slide-guitar blues, growling and barking at you, trying to bite your hand off as Shane Hicks warbles with a distinct Eddie Vedder vibe. You should be sweating heavily and drinking JD when you listen to this. I’m going to grab my twelve-bore and shoot me some alligators.



A fair bit of sound coming from two blokes! Local gents Shane Hicks and Andrew Walter are in keeping with the very popular roots music set-up of the last 10 years or so, operating as a guitar/drums power blues duo. Guitarist Hicks is also a suitably gravelly vocalist, while drummer Walters can lay down everything from old-fashioned garage kit thrashing to more minimalist, skeletal rhythms for the album’s darker, slower tracks. And, yes, if you like Black Keys, there are enough raw blues rock numbers to keep you satiated – so that’s a fuzz pedal tick of approval for Blackwater, Crawlin’ Skin and the barnstorming Lovesick. They are similarly adept at slower jams, like the churning Good Night Darling Sweet Dreams and the gothic, cello-enhanced ballad Sweet Misery. And while fans of other immensely successful two-piece roots rock outfits will find much to love here, The Blackwater Fever also possess an impressive sonic fullness, a dramatic cinematic sweep and even a dose of glam rock stomp to create what is ultimately a sound all their own.



The Blackwater Fever open with a barrage of no-nonsense electric blues, driven by the seething growl and punching riffs of bearded guitarist/vocalist Shane Hicks. Every note Hicks wrenches from his guitar is more muscle-bound than Arnie himself, with particular standouts coming with ‘Blackwater’ and ‘Crawlin’ Skin’. The tempo – but not the intensity – drops with ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and ‘Sweet Misery’, before they close with ‘Better Off Dead’ which again features superb slide work from Hicks.


Tuesday night gigs are always weird. It’s simply hard to get into the mood with so much of the working week remaining. But locals The Blackwater Fever went quite a distance towards helping to ease the mid-week blues with their own entertaining blend. The duo was obviously rapt to be on the large Tivoli stage, with their dark garage blues going down well with the genre-favourable crowd. You would expect they would have picked up a new swarm of fans with their entertaining set.


First cab off the rank tonight, The Blackwater Fever did their best to convince us that they were not simply The Black Keys version 2.0, and it worked. Despite the fact that they resemble the headliners in both instrumentation (drummer Andrew Walter and guitarist/vocalist Shane Hicks) and dark bluesy-vibe, as their name suggests, there is a more tormented, often feverish element that sets the pair apart, providing early punters with a tight set of gritty blues-rock.


Playing some of the dirtiest blues in the business, ex-Sunshine Coasters The Blackwater Fever couldn’t be more at home than here in the grand ole’ Tivoli, playing in support of the world’s premier exponents of the blues-duo genre. They grind through a short set including the faster Blackwater and finish with a palpable anger in Better Off Dead.


…Before we find out we’re treated to a brilliant opening set by Brisbane-via-Sunshine Coast garage blues duo The Blackwater Fever. Led by the unbelievably guttural, heartbroken howl of vocalist/guitarist Shane Hicks, the band deliver stomping blues with ‘Blackwater’ and ‘Back For You’.”


As a generous number of patrons had settled in, the night’s only support, The Blackwater Fever, began their set of delta blues-inspired rock. With lead singer Shane Hicks delivering each song with a deep, gravelly howl, as if possessed by the spirit of Ben Ottewell via Tom Waits, and drummer Andrew Walter backing him up with his classy drumwork, this local dark, garage blues band ensured none who had entered the venue were subject to any reprieve from their gloomy, atmospheric southern stylings.


As a generous number of patrons had settled in, the night’s only support, The Blackwater Fever, began their set of delta blues-inspired rock. With lead singer Shane Hicks delivering each song with a deep, gravelly howl, as if possessed by the spirit of Ben Ottewell via Tom Waits, and drummer Andrew Walter backing him up with his classy drumwork, this local dark, garage blues band ensured none who had entered the venue were subject to any reprieve from their gloomy, atmospheric southern stylings.

With tracks off their Abused Blues EP and their upcoming Sweet Misery record providing the crux of their set-list, the two-piece provided the crowd with a true raw essence which contrasted greatly with the main act’s known antics. Tracks Shakin’ All Over and Better Off Dead garnered the most praise, however the whole set afforded the audience with solid, ballsy blues ballads and a gritty start to the night’s proceedings.


Grotty blues outfit The Blackwater Fever hook their instruments directly into the brain’s most primal pleasure centres as they churn out a solid set of sleazy guitar riffs and rhythmic thumping toms coupled with deep, gravelly vocals that evoke Tom Waits at times.

Be-spectacled guitarist Shane Hicks and drummer Andrew Walter conjure a storm of noise that would put many four-piece units to shame as they showcase several songs from their EP Abused Blues and a bunch of new tunes. Early on, they evoke gunslinger ballads of yore and occasionally drop hints of echoing surf rock, but by and large the EP title sums their grimy style perfectly.


The Blackwater Fever’s concoction of seductive blues and raucous rock was the perfect way to start this sell-out showcase of three of the nation’s best blues/rock acts. Singer/guitarist Shane Hicks and relatively new drummer Andrew Walter are gelling at an exponential rate – each gig sees them moving closer and closer towards inevitable popularity. The Fever’s set has been bolstered by a moody Bobby Vinton intro, various sound effects and film samples and vocalist/guitarist Shane Hicks – decked out in Roy Orbison style glasses – jilted about the stage with the subdued confidence of a man in knowing possession of a swag full of quality songs. Walter is a tight, powerful drummer and handled the sample duties with ease as well as adding his own flare to old favourites like ‘Blackwater’. The new songs/samples aired on the night left me salivating at the prospect of a debut album.

– Gav Britton