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It’s All Hallow’s Eve and Dry the River are coming to Bath’s Komedia. Since the huge reception they received following the release of their debut album ‘Shallow Bed,’ it comes as no surprise that tonight’s gig is a sold out affair.

Having never been to the Komedia before, I have to say that it’s a rather stunning venue. Big enough to host bands such as this but small enough for the gig to remain intimate.

Starting off tonight’s proceedings is Goodnight Lenin. Dressed in suitably apt, D.I.Y. Halloween costumes the band offer some lovely folky tunes with beautiful harmonies and plenty of potential. It’s a shame to say that the songs start to merge and sound like one another but nevertheless, they’re a perfect fit to tonight’s bill.

Next up are London 3-piece Arcane Roots. Having noticed that the band have been on pretty much every single festival bill of late, it’ll be interesting to see what the buzz is all about. Arriving on stage in ghostly cloaks, the band start off with a eerily quiet offering that enables lead vocalist Andrew Groves to really show off his skills.

Once they erupt into their At-the-Drive-In like part of the song, it’s brilliant to witness some of the reactions. There’s lads instantly banging their heads, whilst some of the older crowd seem bemused as to why Dry the River have invited such a loud band along.

Nevertheless, Arcane Roots absolutely smash it. Mixing genres of punk, rock and folk with the abilities of the highest standard, the buzz was definitely true. Finishing off with latest FREE single ‘Resolve,’ it’s clear that this is a band that’s going to be huge.

Opening with a very Halloweeny ‘Sprach Zarathustra’ by Strauss, the band take to the stage dressed to the nines. There’s a skeleton, a vampire and even a member of Kiss. The band start off with ‘Shield Your Eyes’ – a beautiful track from the album that enables them to show off their harmonious skills.

As they continue the set, the band’s energy never falters. Lead guitarist Matt bolts around stage, falling to his knees and giving it his all in every tune. Bassist Scott is known for his enthusiasm and tonight is no different as he waves his locks with every strum.

‘Weights and Measures’ is a particular highlight as the band begin the song acoustically, allowing Pete’s delicate vocals to warm even the coldest of hearts. ‘Lion’s Den’ showcases the band’s heavier side and live, it’s absolutely breathtaking.

After that raucous, the band finish the set with a stunning rendition of ‘Shaker Hymns.’ Making their way into the middle of the crowd, the band (minus Jon) perform the song with vocals, acoustic guitar and violin alone. It’s time like this that Dry the River really shine – no gimmicks, just pure talent. It’s just a shame for those of us who were stuck up in the balcony.

After touring for what seems like months on end, you’d think that Dry the River would be pretty tired of playing the same songs. Tonight however, proves that this is a band that love what they do. Giving their all in each and every song, it’s no wonder that these guys sold out almost every show. 2012 has definitely been Dry the River’s year.

Words: Sammy Maine
Photo: Laura Palmer