Hot Water Music – London Islington O2 Academy, June 21 2010

When the news reached the public that Hot Water Music would be returning after a three-year hiatus, and suspected disbandment, fans were already clammering for a UK tour.

And as the committed masses gathered around Islington’s Academy, in assorted abstract band t-shirts, excitement began to rise as they were about to witness an act that no-one expected to grace these shores again.

Since the split in 2006 the HWM quartet have dabbled in solo material, in the case of Chuck Ragan, whilst the remaining members formed The Draft. But a reunion is what the loyal fans had been hoping for.

This show promised to be a special one and as Ragan and co. stepped out on stage the venue hit fever pitch.  HWM’s frontman took one swig of beer before remarking ‘it’s good to be back’ as the band went straight into A Flight And A Crash.

At the height of their popularity this band always seemed to boast a cult-like following and the amount of HWM tattoos on display proved showed the dedication that their fans have towards the band.

Excellent renditions of Remedy and Jack of All Trades was then followed by an airing of No Division which Ragan dedicated to fellow solo artist Frank Turner who was in attendance.

Ragan continuously thanked the London audience and also announced that they were in the process of working on new material for an upcoming album.  HWM closed with It’s Hard to Know but were hauled back for an encore which included a cover of the Bouncing Souls’ anthem True Believers.

Hot Water Music were back with a bang and with a new album in the works hopefully they’ll be here to stay.

Tom Walsh