It can’t be easy when you are referred to as new Folk and compared to Mumford and Sons but this is something that Dry The River have had to deal with and with the release of their second album Alarms in the Heart they have tried, and successfully, to shake off them comparison. But how well does this fit in live with their debut Shallow Bed’s tracks?
A sold out Wedgewood Rooms was treated to some suitable warm up with both Liu Bei and Genghar and an expectant hush came over the place as the lights went out, atmospheric music kicked in and spot lights moved around the stage. What felt like an interminable wait was soon over as one by one the band appeared and kicked straight into Hidden Hand. It was clear from the outset that whilst this was the opening night of the tour the band were ready to entertain. The opening 30 minutes went at a blistering pace. Both old and new mixed perfectly. The newer tracks with more of a rock led feel complimenting well.
Early in came one of the high points with a blistering rendition of New Ceremony (a personal favourite), whilst everyone appeared to enjoy the opening tracks it was this one that really got the crowd going with a mass sing along accompanying the chorus.
After the frenetic opening, the band took things down a little for the Middle section. The quality of Peter’s voice being able to come across brilliantly during tracks such as Vessel. This is the 4th time I’ve seen these and what always struck me, and more so than ever tonight, is that bass player Scott really loves being on stage. Any accusation of folk would surely disappear if anyone saw him live! The first time I saw them play at Reading it was Scott’s performance during Lions Den that showed a man who really was having a great time. Sadly tonight that was one track missing.
All too quickly they were off for a short interlude before returning to perform History Book and No Rest acoustically – much merriment was had as the crowd shouted out how much they loved Peter which almost put him off his ‘mysterious and interesting’ attempts.
There was time for one more track. A rousing rendition of Weights & Measures which again brought out a hot and happy crowd to join the chorus before heading out to cool down.
Dry the River certainly have cleared that nu folk image, both their albums are full of great stuff (alarms will feature highly in my favourite records of the year) and their live performances are quite brilliant. One last comparison between them and Mumfords from me, having seen both live I know which one I prefer. I can’t wait to see them for a fifth time real soon.
Poor quality photo, excellent quality gig