Having been lucky enough to have witnessed The Watchmakers play live in Manchester’s Northern Quarter 3 times in 8 weeks I can now happily conclude that the local band is one of the best around.
They’re playing on the psych scene but they’re not particularly psychedelic. They have a motorik devotion to groove but instead of using a 4/4 mantra to present a soundscape ‘ooh look, a motorway / train journey etc’ the band instead prefers to create something physical, vital and perfect for dancing to. A post midnight spot would be awesome for The Watchmakers. If pushed you could conceivably describe it as halfway between space rock and dance music. Possibly.
There is a real melodic sensibility to their work too. There is a noticeable emphasis on songwriting most psych bands aren’t interested in. They’re actually rather reminiscent of The La’s. The vocals are clear, punchy and the chorus’ hit home. They have a big, widescreen sound that is engulfing. Seeing these guys play in pubs actually hampers them to a degree, these guys scream Academy 2 (not literally, that would be creepy).
The Watchmakers present a complete package. Not only do they have the sound but they have the look: smartly dressed in 60s attire, similar haircuts, pointy shoes, all facing front. Aesthetically it’s highly pleasing. It makes a band look ambitious and ready for success.
They have the songs, a slick, whirlwind of a live set and the image. Somebody wanna ring Academy 2?