Express & Star

REVIEW: The Good Water, The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham

That was an emotional night, for so many reasons.

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The Good Water at The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham. Picture: Hannah Fisher

My friends, family and I got to see some live music for the first time in more than a year.

The Good Water showed they are unquestionably one of the best bands currently hitting the local music scene, both in Birmingham and further afield these days too.

And, it was just a great night out. Remember them? I'd honestly forgot how great it was to catch up with fellow music lovers over a pint – well, a few pints – and just have a laugh.

The local music scene is so important. The pubs, bars and venues that run them always do such a fantastic job.

And the bands, well, being a complete guitar novice I never fail to be completely blown away when I see musicians as talented as The Good Water strut their stuff on the stage.

The Castle & Falcon pub in Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, is a great little venue and was the perfect setting for last night's gig.

Not the easiest to get to when travelling in from Dudley but always well worth the journey.

It's one of the many places around the West Midlands that really go out of their way to promote local bands and I've never failed to have a great night there.

It was a slightly strange night because of the continuing Covid restrictions.

Instead of standing on a dance floor and bobbing our our heads away to the music, rows of chairs were laid out as if it was ready for a comedy show.

However, despite all that – and despite getting carried away myself, standing up and applauding the band after a few songs (sorry about that) – it was a still such a superb night.

Big shout out to The Bug Club too, who were up on stage first. It was the first time I'd heard their stuff but it was some seriously good rock music and had everyone's toes tapping, warming up the crowd nicely for the headliners.

Guitarist and lead singer Rob Clements, from Redditch, drummer and backing singer Tom Fisher, from Erdington – now residing in Abergavenny, Wales – and keyboard player and backing singer, Stuart Webb, from Great Barr, were at their very best last night.

Having been starved of live music for so long, the gig was always going to be special but all three of them really went at it from the first note to the last.

It could've been so easy for the band to have just thrown in the towel during the pandemic, stopped making the great sacrifices they all make to create their own music, and just called it a day

Gigging locally is so hard. There's no money in it, it's expensive, it takes up a lot of time and everything is simply done for the love of music.

So, and this is not said often enough, we all have to say "thank you". Us everyday music fans have to thank to the bands, venues and promoters for doing what they do.

It's such a tough industry and it's been hit so hard during the pandemic, probably harder than any others, so for venues like The Castle & Falcon to keep putting on live music events – and for band like The Good Water to keep playing live sets – is pretty incredible.

The restrictions are what they are. There's no point going into it here because everyone has their own opinions on them but let's just hope things can return to normal sooner rather than later, for the sake of this vital industry, if nothing else.

But let's just focus on the music for now because seeing The Good Water playing at their very best really is a sight to behold.

Last night they pulled out all the classics, such as their hits Tell Me What To Do and Mansaid, the wonderfully melodic Colours, the groovy, driving Apples, the superb instrumental that is Breadcrumbs – that was my particular favourite – the funky See Your Light and Everything Is.

Rather than tone it down, The Good Water are actually starting to spread their wings even more in an effort to try and break into the Manchester music scene.

The folk of Lancashire are in for such a treat and I truly believe their style of indie-psychedelic rock will go down a storm. Best of luck to them, anyway.

But it was great to see them rock their home city of Birmingham again last night and the emotions really ran wild.

It was great to catch up with fellow The Good Water fans who all agreed the band had put on another superb show. Long may it continue – and hopefully the band will soon get the recognition they truly deserve in the near future.

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