Tonight in Swindon the Max Raptor & Brawlers co-headline tour rolls into town and along with them all the way from Brazil is Water Rats. Only 4 shows on this run and tonight Brawlers will take to the stage last.
With the room alarmingly sparse Water Rats rock up on stage to do just exactly that, rock. The stoner punk quartet waste no time in getting stuck in with their filthy riffs and electric pace to kick off tonight in frantic fashion. Slowly the room begins to fill and everyone here gets to witness the unknown gem all the way from Brazil. Shouting vocal styles and yells accompany the dirty stoner punk rock on display and have us grinning ear to ear like a Cheshire Cat on LSD. In between songs the guys have some fantastic banter and try on their best English accents to blend in, it’s all fun and games and makes for a brilliantly fun beginning to tonights proceedings.
Scheduled in second tonight is Max Raptor who have travelled up and down this land many times but never to sunny Swindon. Once again it’s all systems go from the off as frontman Wil Ray gets up close and personal to those in attendance. If you’ve never heard or seen Max Raptor before then imagine Don Broco but with less swagger and with a more serious and uniting feel to their music, especially on the anthemic ‘England Breathes’. Guitarist Matt Stevenson, donning a dapper moustache throws himself and his guitar around the stage as much as he can and still keep it in time not missing a note. The half filled room are really getting into this gig and the set finishes with everyone in high spirits and ready for what comes next.
Brawlers have been making a lot of noise lately on social media and being featured in Kerrang magazine recently, so a lot of people are here tonight to see what all the fuss is about, us included. It’s hard to label the 4 piece from Leeds as their tracks take on different identities tonight, some sound punk, other alternative rock and so on. But all the while we’re stood listening to the Northern boys they aren’t leaving anything on stage and passing round a bottle of cloudy looking Lambrini, cause apparently Lambrini boys can have fun as well, exclaims the man under the red beanie Harry George Johns. There’s a point mid set that really kills the mood, the frontman gets annoyed and angered when he can’t find his mic stand and wastes time wondering around.
However getting back into it the guys carry on their solid performance and exude fun and enthusiasm which gets this night ending with 3/4 members in and amongst it with the crowd. The bands tonight are still building reputations and Swindon welcomes them in with open arms to showcase what they have to offer. Tonight was good, not great, just good.