dimanche 16 janvier 2011

Live report: 11th January 2011, DRY THE RIVER(UK) at House Party #3, Paris

Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home
Excellent unplugged/acoustic performance from the band Dry The River in Paris! 2011 began very well with this house show at Valérie Toumayan's home on 11th January.

You probably heard of Valérie, she's a French freelance graphic designer and she often films many awesome bands in concerts, especially Swedish ones. I actually discovered her work in 2007 with her videos for la Blogothèque with Jason Mraz improvising joyful songs... and didn't have the chance to talk to her in concerts before. It's the 3rd time she hosted a house show at her home, the previous one was with the French-American singer Sydney Wayser.

Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home

How was this house show organised? The very good five-piece English band Dry The River wanted to do an unplugged/acoustic show somewhere in France, Belgium or the Netherlands, before playing at Eurosonic Festival in Gröningen. It happens that Valérie filmed the band The Magic Numbers in Paris and their manager also works for Dry The River, so they agreed to organise a house show at Valérie's home. I contacted Peter, the lead singer of the band, by mail two days before the show to be on the guestlist as it was written on their Facebook and MySpace pages. But I didn't know that Valérie was the host and didn't have many details about this show (if it was very private or not). I felt very lucky to be part of the audience that night.

The first thing I was asked when I arrived there was how I heard of this band. The good side when following websites doing great sessions with small/not well-known bands "à la" Take Away Shows is that you discovered many promising artists. One of them is the excellent English channel Watch Listen Tell which I followed because they filmed favorite bands like Life In Film and Broadcast 2000. If you know it, you probably watched Dry The River playing the songs "Bible Belt" and "Weights and Measures"(secret track) more than 6 months ago.

Dry The River - Bible Belt (Watch Listen Tell)

Dry The River - Weights & Measures (secret track) (Watch Listen Tell)

That's how I discovered them. But not only. Also with See Gig Film Gig Post:

Dry The River - The Chambers and The Valves (live at the Komedia, Brighton, 
supporting Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit) (courtesy of See Gig Film Gig Post)
They didn't play it at the house show because it's not acoustic and Will needs his mandolin to play it.

Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's homeDry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home
Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home

Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home
Dry The River
Genres: folk, americana.

Members (from left to right on the picture):
Will Harvey: Violin, Mandolin, Viola. He speaks very good French ;)
Matthew Taylor: Guitar, Vocals
Jon Warren: Drums
Peter Liddle: Guitar, Lead Vocals
Scott Miller: Bass, Glockenspiel, Vocals

Dry The River, whose the average age of the members is about 25, is based in East London. The members were in differents bands before playing together and they are now doing music as full-time job.
Their 1st performance in France at this house show was improvised, the members talked to each other between songs to agree with playing a song or not, without any setlist. They opened the set with "History Book". All their songs are incredibly catchy and played with a perfect harmony in the voices and the instruments. Their songs are reminescent of songs by Mumford & Sons, but Dry The River is completely different with their "rag-tag mixture of Americana, gospel and indie rock" and I'm sure people who like Johnny Flynn and Fleet Foxes will consider Dry The River as one of their new favorite bands. Paul Lester from The Guardian files them next to The Mariner's Children, Fleet Foxes and James Vincent McMorrow. Their strengh is Peter's natural voice which reminds you Justin Vernon/Bon Iver's voice and the back vocals.

Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home

I love the sessions they did, and I was completely blown away by their songs that night, especially "History Book", "Night Owls", "Lions Den", "Bible Belt". On "Weights & Measures", their voices were so great and loud that the sound of the video was saturated! It was breathtaking! You can easily imagine that the audience of about 15 persons was extremely attentive. Moreover they covered "Lovin's For Fools" by Sarah Siskind as an encore. Perfect. I didn't know the original song, and I discovered that Bon Iver played it with the Bowerbirds and Sarah Siskind herself! It was a very nice show for sure. They didn't stay in Paris that night and directly drove to Lille and Gröningen, because they had to play at Eurosonic Festival the next day. Being an artist is really not easy...

|Edit: 1st March 2011] Sorry, dear followers and fans of the band, some of the videos of the session were removed by Youtube because of Sony Music Entertainment's copyright infringement notification. But the band agreed with filming them at the session... Anyway... Give them support! They're a great band.

History Book
Shaker Hymns
Night Owls
Lion's Den
Family Tree
Bible Belt
Weights and Measures
Lovin's For Fools (Sarah Siskind cover)

Many thanks to Dry The River and Valérie for hosting the show.
Check out Valérie's channel, you can watch her videos at:
Bible Belt 

Family Tree

Good friend Oliver from Konzert Tagebuch was invited by Valérie, here's his nice review in German.

Dry The River(UK) at House Party #3 at Val3rie's home
You should really check out their amazing songs. These very nice young men will release their single "New Ceremony" soon and a debut album in a few months! You can download their 3-tracks EP for free on their website. If they're coming to your town, be sure to catch them in gigs! They're going to play some festivals, including The End of The Road Festival in the UK, and they will probably come back in France very soon :), stay tuned!

More pictures:

More links:

The little yellow (and grey) bird you can see on the guitar and on their shirts is actually the logo of the Yellow Bird Project (a Montreal-based nonprofit which works with artists "to create unique t-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities, each chosen by the musicians"), it seems that they recently shoot a video with Dry The River.

They did a very good acoustic performance with an interview at the Dutch radio RTV Rijnmond:


Review of 'Bible Belt' EP by One Thirty BPM

Black Cab Sessions:


Audwy a dit…

Can't wait to see this band live in Paris. This is the band of 2011.

Bon maintenant y'a plus qu'à annoncer la date :D

GigsinParis a dit…

I can't believe you were there for this! So, so lucky. :)