They took me by surprise, must admit I was everything but prepared for that one. When five guys looking like some punk rock revival band entered the stage, I thought: interesting, but let’s see what they have to offer apart from a wide variety of different beard styles. Believe it or not, they had everything: infectiously energetic performance, marvellous lineup with no weaknesses, great connection with their audience and the power to stop the rain.
London based quintet does not seem to need any introduction at all by now, after pulling off a never ending festival tour this summer. The easiness they steal hearts with wherever they choose to go might be considered surprising at first, but is definitely well deserved. It is not a single particular characteristic what makes Dry the River an exceptional band: rather a combination of diverse features that come together as a perfect whole. Folk spiced with some punk energy, heartbreaking lyrics accompanied by beautifully executed violin bits, gospel vocals crashed into walls of heavy, thick sound, subtle beginnings accelerating into massive, overwhelming finales… The power is on, but it never outshines melodious acoustic origins. Obviously there is a bit of chaos happening here, but I do believe a proper creative mess can lead to amazing things, especially when it comes to music.
This is not a bunch of random musicians brought together to create a band. Each member is an appealing character on his very own: Peter Liddle, former medical university student, owner of an exquisite voice that bears resemblance of legends such as Jeff Buckley; originating from a punk rock background Jon Warren on drums; classically trained violinist Will Harvey; hyperactive Scott Miller responsible for bass and Matt Taylor with some quality guitar input. Although it might seem quite impossible to get anywhere near cohesive with that sort of wicked mixture, it works magic for Dry the River. They simply enjoy being together on stage and it shows resulting in irresistible charm of their live performances.
The future looks bright and shiny for those talented guys: they already worked out a very unique style distinguishing Dry the River from other folk based bands around. Melancholic rebellion seems to be the key ingredient in this tasteful cocktail of sounds. While waiting impatiently for their debut album, you can listen to Dry the River emotive Bible Belt EP or just download couple of great tracks from itunes. Careful though, it is highly addictive.