Gig Review... Dry The River @ King Tuts, Glasgow, 22nd April 2012

The last gig I had been to at King Tuts had been surprisingly quiet and for a band I had thought to be similar sized to Dry The River but there were no such fears for this gig as the band packed out the venue with every ticket sold. It is clear why the band's star is rising in such a way as they have some massive songs and a set of lovely softer tunes to compliment them. The night is opened however by two men playing acoustic on behalf of the band This Silent Forest, a Glasgow band who we're told normally have six or seven members and play electric. However, this did not detract from the performance in any way as the duo put on a tremendous set of songs they had rarely played live or even practised playing together before. I was so impressed I went straight to the merch stall and bought their EP after they had finished, which similarly has not disappointed. On this basis This Silent Forest are definitely one to watch.

Next up were the experimental Tall Ships with a dazzling array of loops and various tricks with their music. They got the crowd moving well but across the set as a whole seemed to lack the variation to really make them more interesting. A great start to the set but seeming to drizzle out partway through. Musically they were excellent but the songwriting seemed to have something lacking in some songs.

Dry The River took to the stage in style with single 'No Rest' soaring into every crevice of Glasgow's finest venue. The crowd, including myself, seemed surprised by the band's bold move to open with such a song. But the band really weren't waiting about and a series of their best tracks followed instantly, culminating in the epic 'New Ceremony' and 'Weights And Measures' with the band only halfway through their set. In the opening period of 'Weights And Measures' the band sang the introduction to the song without using microphones, with the crowd keeping respectfully quiet, leading to a wonderful couple of minutes as the atmosphere swirled around them tantalisingly.

The first half of this set had been incredible but sadly made the second half a bit of an anti-climax. Whilst the other songs on the set were touching and sound lovely on record, in the live scene the band would have been wiser to hold back some livelier songs to mix in with these to keep up the tempo. The baffling exclusion of the brilliant 'The Chambers And The Valves' also seemed strange and was a real disappointment. The band are clearly a great act who can sound massive but hopefully in the future they'll plan out their setlists a bit better. Only ten songs played on the night when they have a twelve track album and a poor order of tracks. I wouldn't let it put you off going to see them though because when they're at their best, they're brilliant.

Dry The River played:
No Rest
Shield Your Eyes
History Book
New Ceremony
Weights And Measures
Shaker Hymns
Bible Belt
Lion's Den

Written by - Neil Shaw