Express & Star

The Good Water, at The Night Owl, Digbeth – review

“We’re really excited to be playing this,” was how drummer Tom Fisher announced The Good Water’s latest live show.

The Good Water

And the reason they were excited was because last night’s gig at The Night Owl, in Digbeth, was the start of something special as the band has decided to go in a slightly different direction.

Their singles – four and counting – have been embraced far and wide with the likes of BBC’s Steve Lamaq giving them plenty of air time on his radio shows.

Their hardcore fans love their music but the band is really starting to reach a wider audience now.

Through word of mouth, hearing their tracks online and the radio, and just through good ol’ tradition means – like playing live locally and attracting huge crowds – there are more and more new faces at their gigs these days.

The Good Water pride themselves on their live show. The cleanly-cut singles are brilliant but when they let loose, jam and solo on guitars, drums and keyboards, while backing it all up with sublime harmonies, that is when they are at their best.

So much so their next single, Breadcrumbs, will be based around their live music. The performance last night was about freedom and expression. It left some open-mouthed while others danced the night away and sang along.

The groove they harness once they get going is unrivalled and their 15 minutes or so jamming and improvisation at the start of last night’s gig was, to me, what good music is really all about.

Everyone loves a good single but seeing three top musicians let loose, bouncing off each other, smiling and jamming is the pinnacle.

Of course a lot of it was rehearsed, the greatest artists make spontaneity look natural, but it was so nice to see them take it in turns to show the crowd what they are really all about.

It wasn’t showing off, far from it. If they wanted to, they could solo more, but last night at The Night Owl they gave us all a glimpse of what is possible when you dedicated yourself to your craft for 20-odd years.

Of course they played the tracks the fans know and love but it was the live session that the gig was based around.

Lead singer and guitarist Rob Clements, from Redditch, drummer and backing singer Tom Fisher, from Yardley Wood, and keyboard player and backing singer Stuart Webb, from Great Barr, gave their fans a first taste of what the next step in their musical journey will be based around.

They hope to release an official five-track EP in the new year but the next single is what they are really excited about because it is designed to give those who may not have heard them play live before the chance to hear what they sound like – live. And, trust me, it's a sound you will not want to miss out on.

It’s important for a band to keep things fresh. As satisfying as it is to hear fans singing the lyrics and memorising a set, it’s equally important for a band to throw in a curve ball every now and again. That was what last night was all about.

As their promoter Carlo Solazzo puts it, it's important they “don't 'burst the bubble” when their playing. That means a continuous set with occasional singles fitted around a 40-minute jam.

And they all had a go too. There was guitar solos, drum solos and keyboard solos. All equally good and all equally mesmerising .

Hats off to The Night Owl too. It’s got to be one of the best independent venues in for live music in Brum. Sat on one the benches outside having a chat, they opened up their huge glass doors and suddenly the music was being beamed into the beer garden.

It’s amazing how well things pan out when the UK gets a bit of nice weather . . .

The last time The Good Water played The Night Owl it was to promote their fourth single, Colours. It has been received as well as their other releases – Mansaid, See Your Light and Tell Me What to Do. The latter even won a gong for best music video at the Birmingham Music Awards.

I’ve been watching The Good Water for a good few years now and I get the feeling they are just about to take off.