BlackWaters - Network, Sheffield

As Network warmed up on a murky night in Sheffield, local grunge trio Nervous Pills began the night at 100mph with a healthy dose of Venom. Filthy basslines rattled the bar, through arrogance laced rock ‘n’ roll. 2019 single Trees Are Green injected some classic punk into the set. A ferocious set by one of Sheffield’s finest left the crowd simmering.

The crowd was left chatting in adoration of the opening act, what followed was an in-your-face, unforgiving performance by Do Nothing. Spreading poetry over music, the frontman nonchalantly stirred Network into a raucous. Most recent single LeBron James typified Do Nothing’s effortless melodies of The Strokes with a British landscape. The set caused the room’s excitement to bubble over, as the venue got to capacity.

As the night continued, Desperate Journalist brought a more traditional indie vibe to the night, bringing depth with multiple guitars and an incredible vocal performance. The band encapsulated The Cure’s chorus laden sound, giving the crowd a much-needed breather with slower, more considered tunes, whilst delving into heavy grunge. Finishing their set with a bang, Desperate Journalist had set up the stage for Blackwaters perfectly.

The scene was set. Bodies were pressed against the barriers. More and more fans flooded towards the band. A long-haired, trench coated cladded figure orchestrated the crowd through opening tune and crowd favourite, I’m Not Your Man. An energetic band performance was reciprocated by the sea of limbs, as latest single Two Time Lover filled the air. The Sheffield-adopted punk heroes ripped through banger after banger, before the highlight of the set.

A wall of sound hit the crowd in the form of People Street, the crowd blasted the lyrics, guitar note and screamed through any brake in the tune, every single eye in Network was in the palm of Blackwaters’ hands. Arm in arm, Blackwaters slowed down the evening with delicate tune Love Is A Future Computer, like a cult the crowd continued to scream every word, bass player: Ollie then took the vacancy of a crowd member’s shoulders for Fuck Yeah as frontman Max, hung off the rafters, sweat dripped off the speakers as Let The Good Times Roll kicked in and caused mayhem, before final banger Down.

Chants rang around Network as the band re-entered the frame to lap up the adoration. A random fella clung to the rafters like a gorilla, and a stage invader wrestled max for the mic, both screaming the words to final tune Suzie Q. Tanner then joined the crowd to bounce and partake in the chaos. The encore ended and left every crowd member in awe, the love for this band was palpable. If this windy night in Sheffield is anything to go by, Blackwaters are going to be huge.