Electric River are a band that have been rising through the ranks of the underground UK rock scene for a while now. Having picked up the ‘New Breed’ Pure Rawk Award in 2013 and now they’re about to release their first album; progress is starting to gain momentum for the band.
Tonight they are opening up for US Rockers Lit on their 15th Anniversary tour for ‘A Place in the Sun’ at the Birmingham Institute. They may be first on stage, but there are plenty of people down early to catch the set and Electric River don’t mess about in showing them what they can do. Frontman Sponge dons a hat that makes him look a little like Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, but although there is definitely a punk element to Electric River, there’s plenty of straight forward rock’n’roll as well. It’s damn catchy too.
The band keep a steady balance of catchy rock complete with plenty of hooks and melodies to stick in the memory with a grittier side that makes sure they maintain an edge to their material. Recent single ‘In Your Name’ is an early highlight but ‘Keeping The Engines Turning’, dedicated to the touring bands of the UK, is a great sing-along fist-pumper and the ultimate high point of the set. Even if the crowd aren’t exactly forthcoming with their vocal parts (it is a bit early) they look as though they’re enjoying it anyway.
As relative newbies to this sort of size venues, any nerves are well hidden, and the band look comfortable and ready to take on these sort of rooms on a daily basis. They have a great collection of tunes and a comfortable stage presence that naturally warms a crowd to them, so it seems the only way is up for electric River.
Being an opening slot, it’s all over rather too quickly but it was a cracking introduction to the band for cackblabbath.online and plenty of others in attendance we’re sure. We’ll be back out to see them again as soon as possible.
CB : So you’ve been on tour with Lit this week. How’s it been going?
ER : Yeah we had a day off yesterday and it sort of hit us that there’s only a couple of days left, so we’re like ah man! It’s been really good though. It’s been the first big support tour that we’ve done. Everything else up to now has been our own DIY/book it ourselves and jump in the van sort of thing but it’s been nice not having the pressure of having to promote everything 24/7. Being able to just turn up and concentrate on doing a really good show and play some bigger venues has been really good for the band.
Were you fans of Lit at all in their heyday?
I can’t say I was a massive fan, I’m not gonna sit here and lie. It’s not that I didn’t like them…just didn’t know much about them. Once we got the gig we looked back at some of the stuff they’ve done and it’s amazing. To be honest over the last few shows it’s been amazing just to see their fan base and how much influence they’ve had on a generation. They’ve still got a die-hard bunch of fans out there.
I was going to ask about the fans. We’ve not seen the show yet but we’re assuming that everyone is early thirties and bought ‘A Place in the Sun’ when they were at school?
You’d be surprised actually. There’s been a mixture, I mean obviously yeah there’s a lot of mid-twenties…
That sort of age group should work to your advantage though?
Yeah well we play shows to all different age groups and stuff. Luckily enough we have a sound that transcends between age groups anyway. That sort of thing doesn’t daunt us, we just get out there and do it.
We’ve seen your name crop up here and there but we don’t know you that well yet here at CackBlabbath. Could you give us the abbreviated history of the band?
Sure, well on the 2nd of June we’re putting out our first record label release, something we’ve been working towards for the past two years really. We feel that through the history of the band, we’ve been going for eight years, but we’ve never really achieved what we wanted on record before. It’s been a massive learning curve as we’ve experimented with different styles and sounds but now we’ve got back to the four of us playing in a room like a garage band. We feel that we’ve captured that on our debut record. We went to the studio for four days and tracked it live and like I say, before that we’ve never really captured the essence of what we do live. So that’s what we’re doing now.
The live show is coming together too.
After this tour you have a few festivals booked, Camden Rocks sticks out as a good one. Are you going out on you own headline tour?
Yeah definitely going to try and get out at the end of July on our own headline tour and possibly go out to Europe in September. If we can make it work. We still don’t have an official booking agent everything is DIY, sitting down at the computer and talking to venues. We’re eager to get out there and play as much as possible.
Is this album release a trigger for stepping things up to the next level as band?
Yeah we’ll be aiming to become a full time band, the album marks a step up towards that, and it is the dream. We are the closest we’ve ever been to that so we’re going to try and work things around our jobs to keep things ticking over. It’s really moving towards the dream at the moment…
Electric River will release ‘The Faith & Patience’ on 2nd June