Friday, 9 May 2014

Matt Henshaw Recommends ... By The Rivers

Thursday night and I've played and been out every night of the week in my old hometown of Nottingham, and a after almost a year in Leicester and the name on everyone's lips being "By The Rivers" I finally get to catch them, playing away, in The Maze in Notts, of all places. And what a treat, it was worth the wait and I'd recommend seeing them live as highly any other.

Today was the first time I've woken up in the afternoon for a long time still tired from the irresistable urge to groove and skank to the sounds of a band. A great set, smoothly running through latest single Vulture, Don't Say You Love Me, Run Home and Take Control, and some real gems, everyone as slick and movement instigating as the last !

I've had the pleasure of bumping into and getting to know all the chaps on my adventures in Leicester, but only managed to catch them live this week. All very nice lads, very sincere and genuine about what they're doing, their taste and their history, and the friendship is so clear and strong, particularly between Nile and Jordan, reminds me of me and my old band mate Chris. There's something so reassuring about being up front when you know your best mate is keeping it all together on the kit behind you.

The heat hit you as you entered the room, an away crowd for the boys just as rabid as anywhere in the country as on the continent so I'm led to believe, and I've no reason to doubt it, the band is together and the songs are so strong, and entertainment comes in bounds, understandable why they've found themselves on tour with The Specials and The Selecter et al, watching the crowd filter out dripping with sweat and mutually shared moisture made you believe it had been raining inside, and understand why Matt was one step away from getting naked, just treating us to a bare chest and belly.

Now, Sam Read, I've known for a long time, from his days in The Dandilions, and it's so pleasing to see someone getting some well deserved success musically. I remember being so glad to have someone to talk to of my generation about The Specials, and even Desmond Dekkar and Jimmy Cliff back in 2006/07, and I think he's a bit younger than me. Understandably I've had conversations with Jordan and Nile about how pleased they was when he joined the band, adding a seemingly endless wealth of knowledge, and an authentic sheen of the music they loved.

The songs will be bouncing around my head for days, weeks, months, as I'm sure they are in the hearts and minds of many who have seen them get it together over the last few years. And I look forward to seeing them again and again over the next few years, and spending a lot more time together. Good Guys if there ever was any.

Peace, Love & Tea, MHx

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