Witches Brew : Water Witches Return To Fort Wayne September 29th

by EA Poorman

Cover Photo by Michelle Waters

So what are you supposed to do after something like Middle Waves? How can you go back to a normal existence when all of your senses have been electrified and your heart and mind filled with so much musical goodness? How can you go back to punching the clock, sitting at a desk, and staring blankly at a computer screen when memories of Headwaters Park linger in your brain? Well, you just keep moving. There will shows to see my friends. New rock and roll freak happenings to expand your psyche a bit. In fact, on September 29th there’s going to be one hell of a mind melter going down at CS3. This ones going to be a doozy.

Athens, Ohio’s Water Witches are making their way across the Indiana/Ohio line and are invading CS3 for what will surely be a full on rock and roll experience. They’re bringing along Columbus’ Bummers and are meeting up with the always delightfully freaky Heaven’s Gateway Drugs and post-punk titans Streetlamps For Spotlights. I feel like I don’t need to say you should go to this show, but you should go to this show. Like, get tickets right after you’re done reading this.

So you’re not familiar with our Ohio brethren? Well let me fill you in.

Bummers is a four-piece from Columbus, Ohio. The band consists of Chris Steris, Steven Sikes-Gilbert, Cody Smith and Jeff Pearl. On first listen to their newest release, 2017s Dolores, you’re treated to a fuzzy, psychedelic shot of noise and melody. Imagine Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jesus and Mary Chain, and late 80s/early 90s indie bands like Dino Jr, Pixies, and Sebadoh. Opening track “Black Halo” comes out screaming with squealing guitars and lots of angst. Then “The One You Love” has an almost Elephant 6 vibe. Very Neutral Milk Hotel-ish. Basically, if you were into college radio in the 90s or Ty Segall’s garage rock renaissance then Bummers are gonna be your jam.

Water Witches are no strangers to Fort Wayne. There’s a good chance you caught them on one of their jaunts through the Fort already, but if you haven’t CS3 is a great place to catch ’em. Asked last year about how the band got together the Water Witches, which consist of Ethan Bartman, Charlie Touvell, and Matt Clouston, had this to say, “Our first Nelsonville Music Fest 2014. That summer we all continued to jam because we like to hang out together. We formed two bands that were different sides of the same coin. One was a freak folk project called Feathers, the other, a psych rock band by the name of Halcyon. We decided to fuse the two to make everything simpler. We felt  this new direction needed a new name, so we held a séance during a set we played at a house show. The spirits gave us the name Water Witches.” Their sound is a mix of psych folk, late 60s garage rock, and a whole lot of Midwest weird that makes it all the more special. When describing the band’s sound, the guys listed influences running the gamut from musicians to writers and the otherworldly, as the band pointed out last year, “Tarot Cards, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Wooden Indian Burial Ground (amazing psych surf from Portland), Robert Anton Wilson, David Lynch, the Source Family, Henry Miller, Dr. Dog, the D-Rays, Velvet Underground, Aphrodite’s Child, John Waters.”

The band are currently touring in support of their newest release, Halcyon, which was released this past July. Dropping the needle on this record you’re treated to fuzzed-out psych rock(“cut”), Ty Segall-like acid freakouts(“Totality”), Philly soul grooves(“Soul BDSM”), and Athens weird that only Water Witches can give(“devil”). Halcyon has a nice bit of grit on it, giving it an aged feel. Like some strange vinyl artifact you found at the bottom of some grizzled cedar chest that was located in an abandoned house in the middle of a desolate forest. It’s music that feels timeless, yet definitely has some ghostly vibes that you can only get when your music’s been blessed by spirits from the other side. Water Witches put on a great show, so you don’t want to miss them this time around.

So we’ve got Athens and Columbus, Ohio represented on the 29th. What about the Fort? Well we’ve got our home turf covered as well. Our resident freaks Heaven’s Gateway Drugs will be blowing minds that night, just coming off a pretty stellar set at the  Kaleidoscope Eye Festival in Chicago a couple weeks ago. These guys have come a hell of a long way in 4 years. They were one of my highlights last year at Middle Waves. If you haven’t seen them lately then you should get out and check ’em out.

Streetlamps For Spotlights will also be hitting the CS3 stage. Another staple of the Fort Wayne rock scene, Jason Davis’ flagship band are one of the best in town. I was able to see them a few years ago at NNN Records on RSD and they blew me away. A little post-punk, a little classic indie, and all three-piece magic, this band will blow you away live.

So you may be suffering from post-Middle Waves blues two weeks from now, so the best way to cure those blues is to get out there and see some more shows. CS3 has you covered for September 29th. Water Witches, Bummers, Heaven’s Gateway Drugs, and Streetlamps For Spotlights will be blowing minds promptly at 9pm. Don’t be late.



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