Dry The River – Live & Acoustic

It’s been a pretty good year for Dry The River. We first stumbled across them about a year ago when we heard Weights And Measures EP. We were immediately struck by it’s scope and intensity. From mellow introspection to epic choruses, it was an impressive piece. It was followed by the even more accomplished Shallow Bed LP. Released it April, it remains one of my favourite albums of the year to date. The only thing that was missing, was a chance to see the live. A chance that finally arose last Tuesday.

Dry The River were playing at The Junction, Cambridge. They had just returned from their US tour, quite literally just. They had landed that morning, and claimed to be battling the jetlag with a combination of performance adrenaline and booze. I struggle to think of a gig that contrasted more between start and finish. They opened up with Shield Your Eyes. For the first half of the track the sound was awful. Thankfully the sound tech managed to sort  things in time for New Ceremony. It sounded even more  impressive than hoped. That was the story of the gig. Liddle’s voice wasn’t as polished as on record but the added rawness was only a good thing. Couple that with the intense shredding, that paid homage to the band’s hardcore roots, and you had a spectacular live performance. Lion’s Den was the epic finish. Liddle leaping across stage, atop drums and speakers. Each man playing out, throwing his instrument down, and walking off one after the other. Then came the inevitable encore. Quite possibly the best ever, although there’s a degree of personal bias here. They finished with Shaker Hymns. But, they didn’t play it on stage. Instead, they came down into the middle of the crowd. They stood half a yard from me and played a beautiful acoustic rendition of the piece. I was a little worried about my eye being taken about by the violin bow. It was extraordinary.

Dry The River have just released an acoustic version of Shallow Bed. If their rendition of Shaker Hymns was anything to go by, then its going to be a fantastic listen. Get a copy HERE. Also, go and see them live. You’ll love it and you’ll get given a great album sleeve (see above) in which to keep your iTunes burned copy of Shallow Bed (Acoustic). The rest of the tour dates can be found HERE.