By The Rivers / Bare Jams / Riot Act [Live Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 19/12/14]
With very few exceptions, Christmas music is terrible. Fortunately, the Boileroom team have good taste in tunes – and so this show was the perfect antidote to the overwrought saccharine pap that’s been unavoidable for the past few months.
Riot Act may be newish faces on the local scene, but they’re already making waves via winning grooves and flawlessly timed rapping. Fans of Tom Morello’s post-Audioslave project Street Sweeper Social Club will fall instantly in love with these guys; each of their songs merge hip hop and rock in a manner that may not be innovative, but packs a hell of a punch and is needed now more than ever before. Closing song Dumb Youth offered a clear indication of Riot Act’s next evolutionary step as the energy levels were turned up high, bordering on Rage Against The Machine’s legendary cathartic outpourings.
When Riot Act get to the point where *that* level of passion can be sustained throughout their live sets, you will want to watch out for them. Britain needs more bands like Riot Act – and with time, these guys will become utterly unavoidable.
Bare Jams just keep getting better and better. This time out, Guildford’s favourite reggae-obsessed street urchins were way more focussed and punchy than ever before – which is saying something considering their track record.
New songs Misshapes and Cold Feet (the latter of which combines contemporary poppy vocals with a harder and heavier funk-ridden vibe than Bare Jams’ past tunes) were both met with crowd members busting out moves more usually seen onstage at strip bars, boding well for Bare Jams’ 2015, while older songs like Good Times Roll and Rigglet got the rapturous response they always deserve. All in all, a wicked way to end an eventful year.
Taking the stage in total darkness and promptly powering through a colourful set strewn with crowd favourites, By The Rivers were utterly flawless. Airtight grooves, stunning songs, and a more than appreciative audience; what more could you need to mark the end of a long, winding tour?
Earlier in 2014, By The Rivers were a great band; now, they’re so much more than that. Onwards and upwards…
Big love as always to the Boileroom team for a great show.
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