Southern/country rock band These Wicked Rivers took a brief break from their tour supporting bluegrass legends Hayseed Dixie to do a hometown gig. And what a gig it was. Playing to the absolutely packed Derby crowd at The Hairy Dog, it was definitely a night to remember for everyone involved. Add to that the fact that it was a fundraiser for These Wicked Rivers’ new album, and it was an awesome night for sure.
Other local boys 28 Double were the first to take the stage. While it wasn’t long after the doors had opened, they still drew a fair crowd. Being easily the heaviest band on the line-up, bordering on metal, it did feel like it took the crowd a little minute to warm to them. However, the band ripped through a fantastic short set of some of their best songs. I’ve seen them multiple times over the years, having gigged with them a fair bit back in the day, and they have come on massive amounts since. They put on a great show and sounded awesome!
Next up was the Manchester blues machine known as Gorilla Riot. Friends of the channel, it’s been almost a year since we last saw the band, at Amped last year. They were on top form again here. Arjun has such a fantastic swagger and stage presence, feeling like you’re watching a true rockstar. And yet he never overshadows the rest of the band, moving out of the spotlight even on longer instrumental parts. The band have great chemistry on stage too, clearly enjoying themselves and regularly joking around. The crowd ate up everything they laid down, too. They loved their grungy sound and great songwriting. If anything, my only criticism is that they didn’t have long enough on stage. However, they for sure won over some new fans with their set and were the perfect warmup to the headliners.
Then, came the headliners, the anticipation in the room palpable. These Wicked Rivers soon came on and left not a single person disappointed. Rattling through a set full of their older tracks and a few of the new singles too. This was by far the best set I’ve seen the band do. That’s a surprise too, as I’ve seen them a few times over the last couple of years. They keep getting better and better, both live and on track. If this gig is anything to go by, they are going to be HUGE in a year or two. One hell of a way to cap off a fantastic night and honestly one of the best sets I have seen from a band this year.
And there we have it, a brilliant night of great music from some of the best underground rock bands the scene has to offer. These Wicked Rivers are back out on the road with Hayseed Dixie while Gorillia Riot and 28 Double still have a few gigs left this year. Both bands are also headlining both nights of SharkFest in Cannock next year!
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