Soundhouse: By The Rivers

By The Rivers at The Soundhouse Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

Saturday 22nd February 2014

By The Rivers at the Soundhouse

Tonight at The Soundhouse: By The Rivers, The Daydream Club, The Brandy Thieves and Careen

There was a real sense of occasion tonight for this prestigious event at The Soundhouse.

All advance ticket has sold out and the venue was full to capacity – something not frequently seen in


Folk group Careen started tonight’s show, the four musicians including the well-known singer and
songwriter Jake Manning on guitar.

Jake Manning of Careen Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)
Jake Manning of Careen
Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

Wonderful vocals filled the room, backed by a variety of instruments bringing delicious and ear-pleasing sounds. We saw an ensemble of musicians feeding off each other’s vibes such that, even ig you were not a folkie fan, this was good music to captivate and hold you attention. Career’s appealing songs provided a richly good start to the evening, delivering lively, upbeat tunes and melodies. If you are not already a fan of careen, tonight’s set would certainly have won you over.

Careen has an album of their music out now, get more details from their bandcamp site

Follow Careen on Facebook

It was good to see so many members of Leicester’s music community in the room tonight; always a good sign when musicians who are not part of the line-up are there to support those who are. Many well-known muserti faces in the crowd tonight bore witness to this being as auspicious event. One of Leicester’s most popular bands took to the stage.

The Brandy Thieves

The Brandy Thieves Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)
The Brandy Thieves
Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

The Brandy Thieves established  themselves last year as a band with a large following of music fans and won many plaudits for their original songs and exhilarating live performances. Tonight The Brandy Thieves opened with their hallmark song The Owl and the Pussycat, its memorable opening bars breaking into a vibrant foot-stomping beat and the band soon made the room sparkle with its music. Andrea Kenney, lead singer, is one of the finest band front-vocalists in the local area and whenever she is one stage – whether with the ‘Thieves or as a solo artist – it is a memorable occasion. The band’s magic brand of gypsy-folk, punk and ska music swells to fill any size of venue; they have penned a superb set of songs which they perform with great relish and enthusiasm. So many of their songs are memorable and all have a high degree of originality. Andrea Kenney’s voice carried over the background noise in the room and the infectious rhythms grabbed everyone’s ears.

You can see the Brandy Thieves again when they support Neville Staple (The Specials) and The Paradimes (among others) on 29th March at Streetlife club in Leicester.

Follow the Brandy Thieves on Facebook

Adam Pickering of The Daydream Club Photo Kat Ullman
Adam Pickering of The Daydream Club
Photo Kat Ullman

The final support act for the evening was the suitably named The Daydream Club. This act is a duo who are currently based in Leicester and have just released a new EP, called Found. They played all but one song from this EP tonight and performed fantastically, captivating the audience really well. They have a folky style quite similar to the album by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Expect big things from this duo as they have already secured a support slot with The South (formerly The Beautiful South) and are already writing songs for their next release.

Follow The DayDream Club on Facebook

The headline band for tonight was By The Rivers. Arguably the best known band from Leicester after Kasabian, their music appeals to a wide cross-section of people and from the first song the audience started to dance. The party continued as one ear-licking song after another rolled off the stage.

Nile Barrow of By The Rivers Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)
Nile Barrow of By The Rivers
Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

What makes BTR stand out is the beautifully blended voices of singers Nile Barrow and Jordan Birtles. Tonight Jordan’s melodica gave the songs that hallmark sound.

Jordan Birtles of By The Rivers Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)
Jordan Birtles of By The Rivers
Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

It matters not how many times you see this band, By The Rivers is one act you never tire of and no matter how many times you hear their songs, you are always up for hearing them again – the mark of a great band.

Sam Read of By The Rivers Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)
Sam Read of By The Rivers
Photo Rob Gurney (Digital-Mechanic)

Altogether this was an outstanding night of live music brought to The Soundhouse by some of Leicester’s web bands. It will go down as one of the highlight gigs of 2014.


By The Rivers headlining at Leicester O2 Academy
By The Rivers headlining at Leicester O2 Academy

By the Rivers at the O2 Academy

Now, BBC Glastonbury has listed the reggae band in its top five ‘Future Pyramid Stars’ – alongside
Foals, Bastille, The Strypes and Jessie Ware.

By the Rivers is one of a very select number of Leicester acts to have played at the Glastonbury

Festival – See the BBC website and The Leicester Mercury

Get songs from BTR on bandcamp

See the BTR web site

See also:

February music diary

January music diary

Ska and Reggae at The Donkey

Skam at The O2


About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke