The Blackwater Fever
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The Blackwater Fever

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Colt Following: The Blackwater Fever"

Every now and then you come across an unsigned band with so much potential and talent that it does your head in trying to figure out how no one has capitalised on it yet.   The Blackwater Fever are one such band, however, with the release of their new Abused Blues EP, national tour dates, a slot on the Urban Blues Festival and an Ash Grunwald support, it seems like only a matter of time before Queensland's best kept secret is revealed.  

Gav Britton spoke with singer/guitarist Shane Hicks.

Your EP Abused Blues came out recently and the artwork and sound is amazing; can you tell us a bit about the release and its production?

It's a 5 track EP. It's the same stuff that Triple J have been playing but it's been remastered. I created the artwork to look like an old weathered 45 vinyl single. It's due for release through Green Media Distro by the end of the year. For now people can buy it online through our site

Ash Grunwald and Sarah Howells from Triple J's Root's 'N' All program seem to be big supporters of The Blackwater Fever; can you tell us about some of your experiences on the show and will you be performing with Ash on his upcoming tour?

Yes we're supporting Ash Grunwald and Carus at The Zoo on September 9. It will be great to support the person who gave us our first taste of Triple J airplay. This year we've done a studio interview with Sarah Howells and a live gig crossover with Sarah from Ric's Bar in Brisbane to Ash in the Melbourne studio. It's awesome to have these guys playing us on-air.

I understand you have plans to tour Tasmania and have managed to score support from one of Tasmania's finest bands, Waiter?

Yes can't wait!   Waiter are an amazing band. We head off on August 31. This will be our first interstate tour so we're excited. Waiter will be doing a show at The Globe in Brisbane with Glasshouse Friday November 10 and we'll be supporting them Saturday November 11 at The Solbar in Coolum. Everyone needs to check out this band.

Do you have any other interstate gigs planned?

We are currently scheduling tour dates for Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay and Airlie Beach.

You've also scored a spot on the Urban Blues Festival on October 15; what can people expect from the BWF live shows?

It's been a year since we played the first UB&RF. We were pretty green back then. There will be much more energy on stage, and a bunch of new tunes.

What are the plans for future recordings, film clips etc?

We shot a clip for our track 'Blackwater', funded through Carma Music with a group of young film students and James Muller of Earth Base Productions. It was shot in the old Woombye Laundromat with limited time and budget. Rick (drums) and I are totally wrapped with the end result. In terms of future recordings, we've been gathering material for our first LP which we plan to record early next year. We're trying to make this release as diverse as possible with bits of blues, rock, retro/surf guitar, murder ballads, alt country and sampling.

See what all the fuss is about by catching The Blackwater Fever when they appear at the Urban Blues Festival on October 15 in Brisbane and when they support Ash Grunwald at The Zoo on September 9.   Abused Blues is available from
- Tsunami Mag


With the amount of CD's that come through the office it's hard to pay attention to them all, however, when Abused Blues got its chance to take centre stage on the office stereo my ears pricked up faster than a hormonal teenager's wang. I must admit that I'm not the biggest blues aficionado in the world, however, of it all sounds as good as this then I've got some serious catching up to do. Recorded in just one day, this Mooloolaba two piece's album just goes to show that quality songs will always prevail over budget, time and recording restrictions,. Instrumental opener 'Night Creeper' almost feels as if it has travelled across a shimmering moonlit lake, over the mud flats and through the reeds before it reverberates out of the speakers and surges into the moody 'Back For You' The body of the album features slightly more rock oriented material such as 'Blackwater' and then slows back down for the downtrodden trio of 'Baby Please Don't Leave Me', album highlight 'Red' and closer 'Fallen'. This is the most exciting and surprising release of the year so far. (Vag)
- Tsunami Mag


AUSTRALIA'S answer to The White Stripes and The Black Keys is spreading an epidemic of garage blues around the country, and Tassie gets a dose this weekend.

Described by blues star Ash Grunwald as ``one of the best-sounding new blues duos getting around'', Queensland band The Blackwater Fever often leaves punters scratching their heads, wondering how just two guys make so much noise.

Inspired by the early blues recordings of Howlin' Wolf, Little Willie John, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Buddy Guy, the Sunshine Coast duo -- Shane Hicks (vocals, guitar) and Rick DeMarco (drums) -- combine dense gravelly vocals, thick guitar tones and primal driving beats to create their big raw sound.

Having developed a solid live following thanks to shows with Grunwald, Carus, The Mess Hall, Drag and The Vasco Era, The Blackwater Fever recently released its debut EP, Abused Blues.
The Blackwater Fever and local support Echo Blue will play at the Cygnet Hotel tonight, the Queen's Head tomorrow night (also with Waiter), at the Dover Hotel on Saturday night and the Foreshore Tavern at Lauderdale from 3pm Sunday (also with Waiter).


In the July issue of J-Mag. The Blackwater Fever were featured in a article called 'Songs To Root To'. The article was a list of sultry tunes to get you in the mood for you know what ;) Caroline Tran added 'Back For You' to the list of songs to get your gear off to.

"If I ever need a gruff, hirsute manly voice to send blood pumping through
the system it comes from Shane Hick's intoxicating growl on 'Back For You' ...grrr!" - Caroline Tran, Triple J - J MAG

"THE FUMES w/Whiskey Go Go's & The Blackwater Fever @ Sol Bar"

The Blackwater Fever's concoction of seductive blues and raucous rock was the perfect way to start this sell-out showcase of three of the nation's best blues/rock acts. Singer/guitarist Shane Hicks and relatively new drummer Andrew Walter are gelling at an exponential rate - each gig sees them moving closer and closer towards inevitable popularity. The Fever's set has been bolstered by a moody Bobby Vinton intro, various sound effects and film samples and vocalist/guitarist Shane Hicks - decked out in Roy Orbison style glasses - jilted about the stage with the subdued confidence of a man in knowing possession of a swag full of quality songs. Walter is a tight, powerful drummer and handled the sample duties with ease as well as adding his own flare to old favourites like 'Blackwater'. The new songs/samples aired on the night left me salivating at the prospect of a debut album. The flamboyant Whiskey Go Gos looked a bit out of place on the small Solbar stage. Percussionist P.Bone Pebbles was a sight to behold. Decked out in tight pants, Wolfmother hair, scarf and matching persona, Pebbles spent the entire set playing the tambourine, maracas and adding occasional vocals - tough job. Singer/guitarist Matt Hutchinson and his three band mates got the sold-out crowd up and dancing with his Kings of Leon style vocals and rockabilly tunes. While the Fumes' soundman afforded the two opening acts a brilliant sound, from the first thrust of Steve Merry's guitar it was obvious he'd been holding something back for the headliners. Latest Triple J fave 'Mystery Belle' showed off the band's quieter side but it was on stompers like 'Automobile' that the band really gave it full throttle. When Merry's delicate blues noodlings turned into thumping power chords the band's engine roared and the only fumes in the room weren't coming from this well oiled machine, but from some of the less hygienic crowd members on the sweaty Solbar dance floor (Gav). - Tsunami Mag

"Mia Dyson @ The Zoo 30/06/07"

Grotty blues outfit The Blackwater Fever hook their instruments directly into the brain's most primal pleasure centres as they churn out a solid set of sleazy guitar riffs and rhythmic thumping toms coupled with deep, gravelly vocals that evoke Tom Waits at times.

Be-spectacled guitarist Shane Hicks and drummer Andrew Walter conjure a storm of noise that would put many four-piece units to shame as they showcase several songs from their EP Abused Blues and a bunch of new tunes. Early on, they evoke gunslinger ballads of yore and occasionally drop hints of echoing surf rock, but by and large the EP title sums their grimy style perfectly.

Chris Brady opens with low-key gentle tunes characterised by mellow, yearning vocals and guitar harmonies that float along on a stream of bongo-laden percussion. The tempo accelerates when his band strikes up Mexican Eyes, though, and the fast-growing crowd laps up the staccato Spanish beats. Corruption, from Brady's debut album, follows, slow to begin, but peaking in a wondrous crescendo of percussion and haunting, eastern-tinged guitars. Brady finally rounds out the set with a brash and funky rendition of the Doors-like Satellite, leaving the punters well-warmed for the main act.

Mia Dyson has a new album in the works, and tonight proves not the least bit hesitant in using the audience as guinea pigs. Not that, as the set unfolds, the crowd minds in the slightest. Mia's shiver-inducing smoky vocals are as front and centre as ever, but the lush blues arrangements seem to offer a more filled-out sound than material from Parking Lots and Cold Water. Still, every new song is received with unabashed enthusiasm from a clearly rapt crowd. Strong use of slide guitar pushes The Driver toward country territory, the harmonica makes an appearance for Heavy, and the keyboards get a rare opportunity to peek through the guitar-heavy mix on Never Felt Young. The strength of the songs, coupled with the energy the band throws into the performance bodes well for when Struck Down is released later this year.

In between, old nuggets such as Parking Lots, Roll On and Choose are delivered with grit, panache and a jammy style that is a delight to watch. But the best moments come when – as Mia describes it – they're 'faffing about' mid set as though it's just them in the band room together. And just to make sure we all get our money's worth Mia throws in a superb cover of Loretta Lynn and Jack White's Portland, Oregon right near the end. - FasterLouder

"The Black Keys w/ The Blackwater Fever Tivoli, Brisbane 17-06-08"

Tsunami Mag July '08 -

"Tuesday night gigs are always weird. It's simply hard to get into the mood with so much of the working week remaining. But locals The Blackwater Fever went quite a distance towards helping to ease the mid-week blues with their own entertaining blend. The duo was obviously rapt to be on the large Tivoli stage, with their dark garage blues going down well with the genre-favourable crowd. You would expect they would have picked up a new swarm of fans with their entertaining set."

-------------------------- -

"First cab off the rank tonight, The Blackwater Fever did their best to convince us that they were not simply The Black Keys version 2.0, and it worked. Despite the fact that they resemble the headliners in both instrumentation (drummer Andrew Walter and guitarist/vocalist Shane Hicks) and dark bluesy-vibe, as their name suggests, there is a more tormented, often feverish element that sets the pair apart, providing early punters with a tight set of gritty blues-rock."


Rave Mag -

"Playing some of the dirtiest blues in the business, ex-Sunshine Coasters The Blackwater Fever couldn't be more at home than here in the grand ole' Tivoli, playing in support of the world's premier exponents of the blues-duo genre. They grind through a short set including the faster Blackwater and finish with a palpable anger in Better Off Dead."


Time Off Mag -

"Before we find out we're treated to a brilliant opening set by Brisbane-via-Sunshine Coast garage blues duo The Blackwater Fever. Led by the unbelievably guttural, heartbroken howl of vocalist/guitarist Shane Hicks, the band deliver stomping blues with 'Blackwater' and 'Back For You'." - Rave / Time Off / FasterLouder / Tsunami

"Bob Log III w/ The Blackwater Fever Troubadour Dec -'07"

Fans turned out in true Troubadour attire, with SixFtHick tees, checker pattern shirts, dirty jeans, dark dresses, and messy hair scattered throughout the venue's rustic confines.

As a generous number of patrons had settled in, the night's only support, The Blackwater Fever, began their set of delta blues-inspired rock. With lead singer Shane Hicks delivering each song with a deep, gravelly howl, as if possessed by the spirit of Ben Ottewell via Tom Waits, and drummer Andrew Walter backing him up with his classy drumwork, this local dark, garage blues band ensured none who had entered the venue were subject to any reprieve from their gloomy, atmospheric southern stylings.

With tracks off their Abused Blues EP and their upcoming Sweet Misery record providing the crux of their set-list, the two-piece provided the crowd with a true raw essence which contrasted greatly with the main act's known antics. Tracks Shakin' All Over and Better Off Dead garnered the most praise, however the whole set afforded the audience with solid, ballsy blues ballads and a gritty start to the night's proceedings.

A short time later, and everyone's favourite Arizona native, Bob Log III, burst onto stage to much approbation. Decked out in his usual garb, complete with motorcycle helmet with a telephone receiver fixed inside the visor (serving as his personal microphone) and blue Evel Knievel-style jumpsuit, Mr. Log had no hesitations in entertaining the crowd with his facetious comical stylings from the very start.

However, the crowd had come to see his musical talents first and foremost, and with that in mind, the man launched into Fire In The Hole to the delight of the audience. Bob Log III is a one-man crazy blues band, playing a bass drum with one leg and cymbals with the other, whilst playing guitar and singing in a fashion rarely (if ever) seen.

Hey, if Tom Waits considers him crazy, he must be doing something right, yeah? An explicitly dirty sound, in combination with mostly lightning-fast delivery, makes this man a musical maelstrom of madness into which all who witness his live show will be dragged into.

With lyrics focusing heavily on sex, alcohol, and more sex, Bob couldn't resist bringing a young lass up on stage to perform a sultry pre-Christmas striptease, sparking many fans with limited vision to clamber to get a better view.

Throughout the set, and with tongue buried deep inside cheek, the man produced many of his 'noise balls' – "not songs", as he made clear to the audience, merely, well, balls of noise. Admittedly, these 'noise balls' were exactly like his recorded material, and consequently were received well by the crowd who were trying to "catch" them.

Peppering his set with self-addressed compliments and overtly sexual comments to the audience, Mr. Log continued to provide an all-round entertaining experience for all involved, including grabbing two young ladies from the audience to sit on his knees while he played I Want Your Shit On My Leg and acquiring another to place one of her breasts into a glass of scotch right before inevitably launching into fan-favourite Boob Scotch.

Add to this a casual stroll through the audience out into the Brunswick St Mall whilst playing his guitar, much to the confusion of those passing by, and a continuous three-part encore, and you have one of the most entertaining shows to have been hosted at any local music haunt ever. Hasil Adkins would be proud. - FasterLouder


The Depths LP - March 2013 (Independent)

In Stereo LP - Plus One/ Shock (Aust) P-Vine (Japan) May 2011

Sweet Misery LP - Plus One/ Shock (Aust) P-Vine (Japan) released Nov 2009

Abused Blues EP - Green Media / MGM released Jan 2006

Airplay: Triple J, PBS (Feature Album), FBI, RRR, SYN, 4ZZZ



In the wake of their third record release, Brisbane’s unique rockers The Blackwater Fever have unleashed the full length’s second single Won’t Cry Over You, accompanied by a sweet five-date Queensland and New South Wales tour and a new management deal.

In a merger of blues, soul, trip-hop, instrumental and rock ‘n’ roll, The Blackwater Fever dropped LP The Depths earlier this year, expanding the outfit from a duo to a three-piece and broadening their sound with a bass and an organ added to the dark, atmospheric sound that has characterised their performances at major Aussie festivals like Big Day Out and Bluesfest, and supporting acts like The Black Keys and Tame Impala.

Keeping the ball rolling, the band have now dropped their follow up single to album teaser Don’t Fuck With Joe with Won’t Cry Over You, making use of that deep bass they’ve added to the refreshed sound of the record they produced themselves, something they intend to carry on through future.

"The Depths is our best release yet and the first we have made entirely under our own steam,” said frontman Shane Hicks.

“It was a huge learning curve with much trial and error but in the end I think the result has vividly realised our ideas and vision. This is how we will make albums from now on."

Gaining airplay in Australia, America and Europe and having their music features in HBO and ABC television programs, as well as advertisement campaigns, the band also brag a new management deal with Brisbane company Pricewar Music, one of the contributing factors behind the Won’t Cry Over You Tour.


Their dark debut ‘Sweet Misery’ received continuous praise from the Australian music press. There was airplay and interviews on JJJ, RRR, FBI, RTR, ABC and 4ZZZ. It was a feature album on PBS radio and made waves across to US college radio. HBO featured tracks, reaching over 38 million US viewers, used for their summer Cinemax campaign … and oh yeah it was voted best Australian release on Polish radio 2009! It is released in Australia, Europe and Japan.


A harrowing growl, a tortured electric guitar and the rhythmic stomp of an unrelenting drum kit. If you close your eyes you can almost smell the swamp and feel the moonlight on your face. It’s hard to believe such an atmospheric, blues-heavy sound comes from just two guys. Breaking your heart one minute only to pick you up with an irresistible rocker the next, this Australian duo are a live experience not to be missed.


TBWF have shared the stage with internationalists The Black Keys, Jon Spencer, Datsuns, Black Diamond Heavies & Bob Log III plus shows and tours with home grown acts Birds Of Tokyo, Calling All Cars, Tame Impala, Mia Dyson, The Mess Hall, The Vasco Era, The Kill Devil Hills, Yves Klein Blue, Youth Group and The Fumes to strong music press reviews.