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When Rivers Meet, Arielle

Artist: When Rivers Meet, Arielle

Venue: Southampton 1865

Date: 13 May 2023

Catch both bands whilst you can, as in the future they will be so popular that they will not be playing these smaller gigs anymore.

When Rivers Meet

The 1865 is a great venue located in the centre of Southampton. It has a capacity of more than 750 people for standing only gigs. Depending upon the bands appearing then sometimes there are seats, stools and tables scattered around the rest of the floor space for those that like to be seated. It has become one of the main venues in Southampton for live music and attracts many bands of all genres.

Tonight the venue was almost full. The support act was Arielle; an American guitarist and singer/songwriter who supported Dan Patlansky last year. She is accompanied by bass player Sam Tookey and drummer Emma Taylor. The set opened with ‘’73’, which is the title track from her latest album, which she performed playing her Two-Tone guitar. Her voice is sounding fantastic, her guitar work is sublime and the sound mix is excellent. The next songs were ‘Somewhere Slow’ from the ‘‘73’ album and ‘Voices In My Head’. The band sounded very tight and looked that they were enjoying being on the stage together. Following that she changed to an acoustic guitar and played ‘Weakness For You’; then it was back to her Two-Tone guitar and the band then did a great cover of Tom Petty’s ‘You Wreck Me’ before going into ‘The Way You Look At Me’, again from the new album. The members of the band are introduced before she changes to acoustic guitar and plays a lovely song called ‘Magick Again’. All too soon she did her final song ‘Genie’s Out Of The Bottle’ and received a very good applause from the now packed audience. It was only a forty minute set, but from the resounding applause, then I think the audience would have liked it to have gone on longer. An excellent and talented act who will be back in October doing her own headline tour.

After a thirty minute break, When Rivers Meet arrived on stage and performed their new single ‘Play That Game’. The stage had smoke machines at either side of it, which went off to great effect from time to time throughout the whole show. The sound mix although being loud was perfect. Next up was ‘Never Coming Home’ and ‘Did I Break The Law’. The crowd were now well and truly warmed up. Grace’s vocals were very good and very clear. There were so many songs that they did from both albums and EPs, that there is not the space to review each one separately. So these are the highlights...

‘Bury My Body’ with Grace and Aaron sharing vocals and lovely harmonies, which the audience really appreciated; ‘Innocence Of Youth’ and ‘Do You Remember My Name’ with the cigar box guitar which the crowd loudly applauded; ‘Battleground’ which had a great driving beat and the crowd bopping along to it; the very lovely ‘Tomorrow’ during which you could hear a pin drop as the crowd remained very quiet, and ‘Free Man’ with its brilliant slide guitar and crowd pleasing riff.

After an introduction to rest of the band, Adam Bowers on bass and James Fox on drums, they played a new song ‘Perfect Stranger’; it is so good that it is destined to be a staple track that they will perform in the future. They then left the stage but came back for two encores; ‘Want Your Love’ and ‘Testify’, which had the crowd singing and bouncing around. The set had lasted over ninety minutes.

The band were on fire. Grace, whose vocals, mandolin, violin and electric slide guitar playing were outstanding, and Aaron who is not only great on vocals but does lovely harmonies too was superb playing slide and cigar box guitar. They are a force to be reckoned with.

This is the third time that I have seen both Arielle and When Rivers Meet, and the thing that they have in common is that they get better every time I see them. I was on Arielle’s merchandise stand and next to WRM’s merchandise stand, and all through the night there was a continual stream of people buying CDs and other merchandise, showing how popular both artists have become. After the end of the gig, the audience stood in very long lines for both bands to have photos taken and albums signed.

Catch both bands whilst you can, as in the future they will be so popular that they will not be playing these smaller gigs anymore.


Review: Paul Gregory Photos: Will Carter, Peter Nicholson, Paul May


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