Dry The River at Reading Festival

August 24, 2013

Dry The River stride out onto the stage dressed all in black, like Marcus Mumford’s edgier brothers. A half-full tent has arisen to greet them on the first morning of the festival, which is a respectable enough start

The opening chords of ‘New Ceremony’ ring out through the Radio 1 stage and sound like the beginning of a heroic Wild West tale. Grand swirling Folk-Rock swept through ready to take people on the journey of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, few people seemed to enthused with the idea of doing anything more than lilt from side to side a bit. The band encouraged a singalong for ‘Weights and Measures‘, which sadly didn’t really materialise. Perhaps a PR person has been nervously lying to them about its popularity? It’s a shame because it’s a standout song from 2011. It was acute and powerful on record, but sounded more muddy and ineffective today. Again, huge shame.

The sound tightened and the crowd warmed to them in more boisterous periods, but it does feel like the spark never quite lit during this set. Opening on a giant tent stage can be a thankless task, yet someone had to do it. Onwards…

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