Farewell to the River

This is the band that defined my mid teens. As I was milling around outside bars tent of kind-of-cool rock festivals, attempting to emit a kind of effortless maturity that only resulted in a little too much eye makeup and a little too little street smarts, Dry The River were releasing an album that would become my soundtrack. “Shallow Bed” can only be described as epic. Peter Liddle’s stirring vocal lines decorate a mix of dramatic electric rock and heartbreaking acoustics, spinning tales with emotional Biblical undercurrents. Their live presence matched the raw energy of their debut album, and their authenticity was always palpable. Liddle was often barefoot, in skinny jeans and a t-shirt, sometimes leaping around furiously, sometimes crooning earnestly into the microphone with scruffy hair partially covering his face. The bassist, Scott Miller, had the most impressive beard I’ve ever seen and an equally vibrant on-stage aura. Their energy was the same at the tiny festival ‘Redfest’ as it was at a sold out Bristol O2 Academy gig: always humble, always fearlessly dynamic.

Words can’t describe how much this band meant to me. Which is why I was completely devastated to hear that they are breaking up. In a statement on their Facebook page they explained that they have decided to move on to “new endeavours”. Their goodbye is bittersweet, as they leave behind a devoted fan base that will no doubt take the news as a tragic loss to the British alternative rock scene. Needless to say I will be pyjama clad for the foreseeable future, watching old acoustic sets and sifting through photos of the golden age whilst getting Ben and Jerry’s all over my tearstained face. The band is far far far too young and this only provokes my slight annoyance at the brutality of the music industry. I hate to sound like a fat has-been NME critic but wtf is up with the world that we’d rather listen to shit DJs and “teenyboppers” (as mum likes to call them) whose best asset is the fact that their songs keep getting shorter and shorter.

These guys are the bee’s actual knees and I’m heartbroken that I won’t be able to fangirl at their concerts anymore. But, alas, they can be reincarnated through the beautiful medium of digital music and their farewell EP will have to suffice as a testament to their shining talent.

Bon chance Dry The River, let’s just hope this is only a phase…

Emma x

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