no drought for Dry the River...
no drought for Dry the River...

Dry The River
Brighton Pavilion
May 11th 2012
live review

no drought for Dry the River...

If the Stones were anti Beatles, the hairy bad boys who smelt of sweat and old guitar riffs then Dry The River are unintentionally playing the same card against the Mumford and Sons well scrubbed, stadium filling, career trajectory. John Robb sniffed the grease and grime of a band loosening up at a sold out gig in Brighton…

We first spotted Dry The River a couple of years ago in Manchester. Then they were all exquisite harmonies and clean cut good boys. A year on the road with a large chunk of work in the USA has done something to the band. They have got hairier and scruffier and their music loose and more ragged. They retain those amazing harmonies and suddenly sound like the full package. The band sound like a classic oily rock n roll band, so tight hat they can afford to be loose, so road worn and frayed round the edges that they have become far more interesting.

And its working very well for them. They are jumping up venues on the breakthough. The River could be the biggest band in the UK by Christmas, they have that energy of a band on the up, the fast forward.

There is that madness in their eyes, and that effortless command of the music that a classic band has, the way they make it looking it so easy. Their debut Shallow Bed saw them swop their hardcore and Emo roots for Bob Dylan and folk. Somehow, though, those hardcore roots are still just in there. You can tell that they didn’t come from pure indie folk roots- there is a toughness and a knack for a soaring chorus so loved by Emo but all put through the 21st neo/nu/Neu folk blender.

Dry The River also have that connect with the audience and the intensity and energy of hardcore. It may not be immediately obvious but it’s there and it’s all the better for it. This toughening up of their sound came naturally to them and its going to pay big dividends as they slip effortlessly into the world of rock.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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