REVIEW: Cold Water Swimmers – ‘She’s Falling Apart / Everything We’ve Ever Had (we’ve had to fight for)’

photo credit David Gleave

“You begin to hyperventilate, within seconds your heart begins to race and your blood pressure spikes….” Cold Water Swimmers were formed in Manchester in February 2018 when the winter seemed to have gone on forever. They are a three-piece fronted by guitarist and songwriter Chris Bridgett (of Dub Sex, Rude Club and The G-O-D) along with Carrie Lawson on bass guitar and Selina Clements Woolnough on drums. Their songs are stark and real. I caught them live in May this year for their debut performance at the Foundation Coffee House in Manchester’s Northern Quarter where they exuded a raw and barbed attitude.

On July 16th they released their debut releases She’s Falling Apart and Everything We’ve Ever Had (we’ve had to fight for) recorded with Simon Ding Archer at 6db Studios, Salford. The two tracks are available to stream and download at the usual places and the videos were produced by the band themselves. She’s Falling Apart is “…a song about failing leaders and institutions, celebrity culture” and a growing sense of isolation in an ever increasingly detached society. With acerbic vocals and lyrics “She’s a shining example of not very much” crunchy, biting guitars and a tight rhythm section to bleed over this is visceral and hypnotic. The video is very telling too.

Everything We’ve Ever Had We’ve Had To Fight For is a cry against austerity and that anything we want is out there if we’re prepared to fight for it. From the first bars of this song with its unsettling chimes, Everything…. packs a powerful punch. “This is a message from the Ministry of Austerity don’t be old, don’t get sick, don’t be black, don’t fight back……” The words are harsh and the tracks builds a sense of cloying claustrophobia. “I’ve not been out the flat for a year or more…I step outside, I feel the sky closing in.” A politically powerful song that chillingly brings to mind George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. In this day and age, the Cold Water Swimmers music is pertinent and vital. Catch them this Thursday 19th at the Carlton Club, Whalley Range, Manchester.