James Baxter: The Water Rats, London

The world doesn’t need any more young men with acoustic guitars being nice. Thankfully, James Baxter is taking a leaf out of Tom Williams’ book. With a wry and acerbic wit, he took to the Water Rats stage on Tuesday evening.

Baxter’s songs, especially when accompanied by his guitarist and keyboardist, adopt Crosby, Stills and Nash harmonies but with a sense of brooding rather than love. 

Ironically, the brightest thing Baxter displays is his darkness. There is a bitterness to his observations about social media and politics that brings the aforementioned Williams and the early days of Frank Turner to mind.

Similarly to the godlike Billy Bragg, he combines social politics with his personal life. It’s this combination which could make Baxter a staple of many record collections in years to come.