Review: Dry the River at Bodega


If you were to look at a photograph of Dry the River, without prior knowledge of their albums Shallow Bed and Alarms in the Heart, you would probably guess they were a somewhat heavy rock band – three quarters of the foursome sport long, ragged hair and beards, and from what we can gather at least a quarter are inked with tattoos. Dry the River are not, you realise, a standard rock band once you witness them launch into their angelic, folksy and uplifting ditties.

To a packed Bodega, Dry the River began their set with the distinctive title track from their latest album; ‘Alarms in the Heart’ evolves from gospel-country-music vibes into a fast-paced acoustic guitar-led pop song. This alternating between light and shade, the quiet hymn-like verses staggered with electric-guitar-pumping choruses, can be traced through the vein of the band’s set.

In fact, Dry the River’s set appeared laden with this song writing formula to the extent that sometimes it felt like they were playing the same songs over and over again, or just one long, 45 minute ballad. Frontman Peter Liddle’s earnest choirboy vocals are certainly admirable, but at times he could be heard straining to reach the high notes – it is cold season, after all (Any chance Bodega does Lemsip on tap?)

Older songs from Dry the River’s first album were the highlights to the set – the beautiful and haunting ‘Bible Belt’ is an example of the band’s captivating storytelling talents. It is worth listening to the often quirky lyricism and striking narratives within Dry the River’s music.

Their support act, Blaenavon, an alternative three-piece hailing from Hampshire, proved to be a terrific appetiser for Dry the River’s show – dynamic drums, atmospheric vocals and anthemic melodies. Despite their questionable choice of hats, Her Campus recommends that you keep track of them in future years.


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