Photos: Kate Meyler ©
Inside The Brudenell Social Club, the night was kicked off by welsh five-piece Cut Ribbons who have featured on BBC introducing, and are set to perform at The Great Escape this summer. Having ran straight from their tour bus and onto the stage, they set the night’s festivities off to an energetic start. Guitarist Aled Rees and vocalist Anna Griffiths offered an intriguing male-female vocal dynamic, layered over the band’s solid pop punk riffs.
With the venue filling and the crowd’s anticipation rising, the second support act took to the stage. Leeds-based Dancing Years, who have supported the likes of Benjamin Francis Leftwich, James Vincent McMorrow and Peggy Sue, demanded attention – with some diehard fans singing along to every word! The all male six-piece offered some beautifully emotive lyrics amidst a cacophony of guitars, violins, keyboards and trumpets. Their unassuming stage presence belied their unbelievable talent; their performance culminating in a final acoustic track, during which Joseph Lawrenson’s melodica (or ‘blow organ’) managed to silence the entire venue. A band to watch out for in the second half of 2012.
Following their supports, whom together encompass the exciting juxtaposition of folk and rock that Dry the River have offer, the band clambered onstage all scruffiness, tattoos and bare feet. Silencing chatter and crunching plastic cups, the band begin with well-known ‘No Rest’, showcasing their original lyrics, which (thankfully) steer clear of the conventional love song. The well matched harmonies between lead singer Peter Liddle and bass player Scott Miller, and the captivating folk inspired violin were juxtaposed by a powerful explosion of guitars and drums – echoes of the band’s hardcore past. The crowd stood hooked, singing along to ‘History Book’ and ‘Weights and Measures’ as the band confessed that this was their first ‘sing-along’ tour. Additionally, they also confessed that due to a lack of paper they had written their set list on a chapati… The quiet, acoustic start of ‘Shaking ships’ soon swelled into a crescendo which culminated in all members getting lost in the music and truly setting the stage alight. If some members of the audience expected only the flowing melodies, lilting lyrics, and unusual notes of seriousness, intimacy and happiness displayed in their musically rich album tracks, the live performance inevitably proved them wrong. In their live shows Dry the River are stronger and a little louder than expected. They successfully drew in a captivated crowd as they ran through an impressive selection of new album ‘Shallow Bed’.
Words: Kate Meyler