Cold Water Swimmers

Cold Water Swimmers

Cold Water Swimmers, Pagans S.O.H, The Tinfoils

Manchester, The Castle

31 August 2018


Cold Water Swimmers smashed it at The Castle last night ably supported by The Pagans S.O.H. and  The Tinfoils. In a rare occurrence for Louder Than War Wayne Carey cracks the first two bands and Nigel Carr covers Cold Water Swimmers. Main pic, David Gleave.

I’ve spared a Friday night as a recommendation from a new mate Kirk Whitehouse who is also the main man behind Smashed Hits, turning vinyl into works of art. Check out his site here


Three decent bands on offer here starting with spunky young newcomers from Mancland. The Tinfoils are not bad at all. They have an energy and a fizz that gets the mood in this tiny venue going with their indie punk offerings reminiscent of quite a few bands I could mention, but let’s not pigeonhole here because they sound fresh and could probably get a name for themselves quite soon. Think indie Pixies, a bit of early Arctic Monkeys and a lot of splashes of teenage Manc attitude. You know the score. Nice little set from the threesome.


Next band up are fucking ace! I met the lead singer Andreus before their set. Fuckin’ top bloke with that great Brummie accent being from West Bromwich. One of the nicest guys I’ve met for a while and totally shocked me. He told me he didn’t even like music and had no influences??? What the fuck?? This band hit the stage and bollocksed my head up. A total fusion of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Dust Junkies, fuck me, they are great! Keep your ears open folks because they are special, and you heard it here first.


Manchester’s Cold Water Swimmers (Top pic) hit the stage a little after 10 pm, fronted by Ex Dub Sex guitarist Chris Bridgett with Carrie Lawson on bass and Selina Clements Woolnough on drums.

Dub Sex was often cited as one of the great ‘lost’ Manchester bands after failing to properly break in an era which careered into Madchester and baggy. Chris’s next outfit G-O-D presented a far funkier sound, (With legendary Manc. drummer Si Wolstencroft) last year supporting The Stone Roses for their series of gigs at Wembley.

Chris Bridgett

There is something about trios, the stage awareness that develops and the demands put on each member to fill the gaps, each watching the other for cues.  What we get tonight with The Swimmers is a powerful, raw garage punk sound, sparse in parts with Chris’s Bowie meets Wire’s Colin Newman vocal punching over the top.

The sound is of full of melody; bright and intoxicating. A far cry from some of the denser grooves like Swerve that Dub Sex cut. They open with She’s Falling Apart with its determined guitar thrust and soaring chorus, reminding me of the Pixies at their best.

Cold Water Swimmers - The Castle Hotel

After a short pause to swap a couple of instruments, the band slows the pace for the stunning I’ll Be Your Witness, which for me is the highlight of the set. It’s Stooges’ Dirt paced with an explosive chorus that builds to a crescendo; Selina hammering away at the back of this small stage with Carrie backing up on bass, Just brilliant.

Carrie and Selina swap over instruments for the closer, I Love You I Hate You with Chris’s vocals straying into Lydon territory – it’s a powerful and stunning end to the set and sees Carrie sprawling over the drum kit while Chris thanks everyone, ‘so fucking much!’

Cold Water Swimmers - Selina

With a plethora of talented youngster fronted bands spewing out of Manchester right now, it was refreshing to see the total acceptance of some of the city’s more seasoned players. The crowd was full of the great and the good from the scene, so it was touching to see them showing their well-deserved appreciation!

It’s fair to say that I fucking loved The Swimmers so you’re going to hear a lot more about them on Louder Than War!


Cold Water Swimmers are on Facebook & Twitter


The Tinfoils are on Facebook

The Pagans are on Facebook


The Tinfoils & Pagans S.O.H. Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here and you can catch his blog at

Cold Water Swimmers: Words by Nigel Carr. More writing by Nigel on Louder Than War can be found in his Author’s archive. You can find Nigel on Twitter and Facebook and his own Website.

Top Photo by David Gleave. More of Dave’s photos on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on Flickr and his personal website is

Additional live Cold Water Swimmers shots – Neil Winward who is on Facebook

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