Dry The River review - XOYO London
'Their star is indeed in the ascendant'
Photographer:Al De Perez
Alison Kerry - 01 March 2012
Gaining momentum on the back of mesmerising live shows over the past year including a string of festival appearances at
Glastonbury, End Of The Road, Reading and Leeds, plus a sold out show at The Scala many months before their debut album is
even scheduled for release, confirms public demand for them continues to grow. Tonight’s sold out show reinforces the
assumption that their star is indeed in the ascendant.
Dry the River’s heavy influence of traditional folk and gospel with lyrics steeped in religious iconography is not what you expect from a heavily tattooed bunch of rockers. If you resolve to judge a book by its cover, a few heavy beards within the band might be the only give indication of what you’re about to hear. Incorporating earthy vocals, sweet harmonies, acoustic and electric guitars with the occasional flourish of violin produces a captivating mix of Americana.
Opening tonight’s gig with ‘Demons’, Liddle’s ethereal voice wraps around the crowd like a warm glow. Suddenly the packed venue now has the band’s full attention as they power straight into ‘No Rest.’ The emotive power of Liddle’s lyrics on this song make an impression. He tells of the “sweat on his brow” and “the fear in his heart” while declaring: “I loved you in the best way possible.”
On ‘Weights & Measures’, down go the electric guitars and microphones for an acoustic a capella first verse to a hushed audience. The harmonies are beguiling and poignant as Liddle pours out the pain of love lost: “You are the coldest star in the sky, only I couldn't see it, I was blind and in comes the black night.” Kicking into a full on post-rock electric ending is reminiscent of Fleet Foxes or Bon Iver and sounds equally as epic. It’s a special for this crowd as the band won’t be playing club venues much longer.
Genuinely grateful for the adoration shown to them, the encore finishes with 'Lions Den'. Any restraint held back during the set gives way to a cathartic head-banging thrash. This rock-out may allude to where Dry the River have come from musically, but where they’re certainly headed now is to household name status.
Dry the River - 'Shallow Bed' is out March 5th on RCA
Click to preorder through iTunes.
Click to preorder through HMV.