Scruffy Bear – Water
60s blues revival with a contemporary Mancunian twist
Words: Phil Weller
Scruffy Bear may have started on the contemporary streets of Manchester, but the music that flows through their collective veins was born long before their February 2016 beginnings. They take huge influence and inspiration from the blues revival of the late 60s – from the psychedelic haze and purring lead lines of Hendrix to the hard-hitting freak outs of Led Zeppelin and the smoky rasp of Muddy Waters. Yet, while they are a band with their hearts in the past, their heads are very much in the present.
New single, Water, which they launch at Gullivers Saturday 12th January, encapsulates their nostalgic musical vision, colouring their canvas with the sounds of many musical greats, but also stamps their own size nines all over the track too. This isn’t just the recycling of the glories of the 60s, there is enough of their own personality within this track, and enough twists and turns, mood changes and unexpected explosions throughout to make this something formidable in its own right.
After oceanic cymbals bubble up to the surface and a wave of feedback washes over, it marches forwards with a slow but thumping drum beat. Georgina Eaton’s sometimes clean, sometimes gritty, crackling voice trades blows with tastefully adventurous lead guitar and a bass unafraid to roll up its sleeves up and get dirty in the front of the mix. Across its nearly six minute playtime there is enough to keep your imagination fired – for these are sounds brimming in swirling imagery – and enough to keep your interested piqued and attention glued. With the likes of Blues Pills and Tame Impala as other bands whose signature sounds can be found swimming in their gene pool, there is a refined modern edge which glazes their end product. Their individual musicianship is incendiary and together there is a chemistry that sizzles and makes them an inventive-yet-familiar sounding prospect to keep your eye on.
Catch them Saturday 12th January at Gullivers alongside fellow Manchester acts Slowhandclap and Shallow Waters.