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About By the Rivers
It’s not for nothing that Leicester’s finest cross-pollinated six-piece have been going from strength to strength since inception in 2010. Refusing to be easily categorised, instead favouring tones that transcend trends and fads, when the focus is about crafting real music that genuinely speaks to people the right ears will always prick up.
And prick up they did. From the folk at Glastonbury, who were so impressed with By The Rivers stint for BBC Introducing they invited them back for a Pyramid Stage performance in 2014, to tastemakers such as God Is In The TV, Blues & Soul and AltSounds, not withstanding major stars like Jamie Cullum; clearly Nile Barrow, Jordan Birtles, Sam Reid, Matt Willars, Will Todd and Rob Spalton are doing something right in order to garner such esteemed followers. A sign of things to come, the impending UK tour is the proverbial icing on the cake of a year that has seen them consistently reach ever-greater heights.
With members individually influenced by genres ranging from straight up British indie rock to ska, reggae, hip hop and Afrobeat, the variety and range within their work is immediately audible and difficult to countenance. Heartfelt sentiments meet floor-filling rhythms, lo-fi moments contrast intricate details, resulting in a style that’s at once unique and yet also easy to identify with. The kind of sound that makes references to other troupes close to impossible, with scenes straddled via this infectious output.
Lyrically informed by personal experiences, social, political and cultural issues, it’s one in the eye for those who believe serious words mean neglecting to hook listeners, and their feet, in. Born for the live arena, yet- as proved on 2013’s critically acclaimed debut LP- deftly skilled in the studio, jam sessions become hit records, tunes grow from humble beginnings to powerhouse proportions, and crowds quickly become sweaty, seething masses, clamouring for more. Less hyperbole, and more the genuine truth of the matter, it’s explanation as to why attendance is essential at By The Rivers’ forthcoming live shows.