Levi's Craft of Music: Dry The River & Let's Buy Happiness

Craft Of Music continues into round two...
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Gaining access to Regent Street’s Levi’s Store after hours may seem like every denim junkie’s dream, however on Wednesday 27th October the clothing store provided music fans with a very different kind of fix.

With Primal Scream headlining a very special one off London show with a set list that will consist entirely of fan’s choices, the vintage rockers have extended the courtesy of letting their audience select the band that will support them; tonight sees sparkling indie popsters Let’s Buy Happiness and folk-rock giants-in-the-making Dry The River take to the Levi’s Craft Of Music stage to contend for the much coveted support slot. You can vote for the bands you want to see support Primal Scream at the Levi's website.

First up are Let’s Buy Happiness, a youthful five-piece that hail from Newcastle, as pointed out by cherubic front woman Sarah Hall whose thick accent may be tricky to comprehend in her apologetic opening speech, (“sorry if you can’t understand us, but as you can tell, we’re very Geordie”) yet transcend regional prejudices when cut loose over the gentle whirlwind of angular guitar lines and melody infused solos provided courtesy of her younger brother James Hall.

With a clear fan base in the crowd, favourites like ‘Fast Fast’ are welcomed with open arms, (and ears), with drummer James King providing a choppy rhythm section over which Sarah leads her band of merry young men through the chiming harmonies and repetitive hooks that ingrain themselves in the listeners’ consciousness long before the short song comes to an end.

After an impressive set that leaves the crowd tapping their toes all the way back to the bar, our friends from the North made way for the latest challengers for the folk-rock crown, Dry The River. When the five musicians take their positions in a flurry of artfully crafted hairstyles, laissez-faire facial hair and tattoos a-plenty, you could be forgiven for expecting a punk rock set; however, these apprehensions are soon set aside by Peter Liddle’s soothing falsetto that croons over finger-picked acoustic guitar, infusing beauty and melody into the lovelorn lyrics that spill from his lips.

Far from being a one man show, the rest of the band rise to the challenge set by the singer’s ethereal vocal performance, with every member adding unique hooks and innovative riffs to the fore. Charisma points have to go to bassist Scott Miller who keeps the banter up between songs; with a full beard and inked up arms displayed in his string vest, he may look like a Motley Crue roadie but his deft harmonies and glockenspiel trickery elevate him far above your average bass player.

‘Bible Belt’ is greeted with a jubilant gasp from the enraptured audience, with one girl actually proclaiming, “This is my dream!”. Liddle’s haunting opening verse certainly has an otherworldly quality to it, before the rest of the band join him for the triumphant chorus that seemed to blanket the room in jubilant lachrymosity.

With a full room clapping and chanting for both bands, it will certainly be a close run thing as to whoever does win the sought after prize; however, with nascent artists of this quality currently spinning around the live show circuit, it should not only encourage more established bands such as Primal Scream to give them a leg up but also to keep practicing and not rest on their laurels…

Words by David Harfield
Photos by Tom Bunning & Nic Serpell-Rand

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