Fireworks

When Rivers Meet, Troy Redfren

Written by ant-rocks     May 13, 2022    
 
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If this was the first night, then I can only imagine how great the subsequent nights of the tour were

WHEN RIVERS MEET / TROY REDFERN
Sheffield: The Greystones – 21 April 2022

Opening tonight was the omnipotent Troy Redfern; this was my third time seeing the slide guitarist in six months. This was the most enjoyable of his three sets, mainly due to the sound being at an enjoyable level; probably borne out by the fact The Greystones is located in a residential area in Sheffield.

It was great to see that the majority of the venue packed from the moment that Blues slide virtuoso took to the stage, and they were certainly appreciative of his earthy Blues vocal and exemplary playing, which he made look ridiculously simple. He showcased his abilities in a thirty-minute, five-song set made up of four originals (from his 2021 'The Fire Cosmic' album) and one cover. The latter, Hendrix's 'Voodoo Chile', I personally did not think lent to his style.

Setlist: Scorpio / Ghosts / Waiting For Your Love / Sanctify / Voodoo Chile (Hendrix cover)

To say that Grace Bond was overjoyed with the fact that the opening night of the tour was sold out would be an understatement. This seemed to energise the alluring lead singer of When Rivers Meet; her husband Aaron Bond was equally enthusiastic, and together with Roger Inniss (bass) and James Fox (drums and keys), they put on a sparkling show, which kept the crowd enthralled throughout.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Break The Law' was a great choice for set opener, followed by the equally impressive 'Walking On The Wire' from 2020's debut opus 'We Fly Free', which highlighted the great harmony vocals of the married couple. Aaron seems quite happy to play second fiddle (sic) to his wife, but there should be no under-estimating his contribution to the band, vocally and on guitars, particularly the box guitar. The immense sounding 'Battleground' was one of the highlights of the evening. The soundman was worth his weight in gold; the drums of Fox, on this particular song, were very impressive for a small venue.

Grace introduced the next song as one about relationships, no Fleetwood Mac inter-band shenanigans here. The chemistry between the spouses were clear to see and hear. 'Don't Tell Me Goodbye' would have been ideal song for 'Nashville' (musical soap opera). She strapped on the mandolin for 'Can't Fight This Feeling', which feature a Funk-Rock bass intro courtesy of Inniss, who was most recently seen in Sari Schorr's backing band. Grace was almost giddy with excitement; the mug of sherry she was sipping from between each song may have fuelled this state, and also may have contributed to her not switching on her electric violin, much to everyone's amusement, herself included.

Unbelievably, this was only their fifth gig as a band; they sounded like they'd been playing as a four-piece for years; although they did revert to their original duet for 'Bury My Body', Grace joking that they needed to give the rhythm section a break as they charge per song! The electric violin was turned on this time and sounded superb. Fan-favourite 'Friend Of Mine' went down a storm; well to be honest so did all the songs this evening.

The heavier 'We Fly Free' saw the not so demure lady take to the crowd and before I knew it, Grace was stood literally right beside me singing. Tempted as I was , I decided not to be juvenile and grab her for a selfie, but just enjoy the moment. The song was elongated into a mini-jam session with both bass and drum solos. Grace continued to give the fans genuine emotional thanks; indeed, she even shed a tear as they closed out the set with 'Want Your Love'.

With a curfew time of 10.30pm, I was surprised and delighted in equal measures that the band returned for a two-song encore of 'Never Coming Home' and 'Testify', both from the sophomore release 'Saving Grace'. No one had left early and there was a deserved loud ovation for the four members. The South Yorkshire crowd were very relatively quiet, but this was more out of appreciation and respect for the musicians (only a couple of morons deciding to talk during the last couple of songs).

Grace and Aaron were out to meet the fans within seconds of leaving the stage. Sadly, I did not get the opportunity to thank them in person for a brilliant evening's entertainment as I had to be up early for work the next day (so not Rock 'n' Roll). If this was the first night, then I can only imagine how great the subsequent nights of the tour were. If you were not there, then check out When Rivers Meet on the various video platforms and see what you missed out on.

Set list:- Did I Break the Law / Walking On The Wire / My Babe Says He Loves Me / Battleground - / Don't Tell Me Goodbye / Kissing The Sky / I Can't Fight This Feeling / Innocence / Bury My Body / Tomorrow / Friend of Mine / We Fly Free / He'll Drive You Crazy / Lost & Found / Free Man / Want Your Love

Encore: Never Coming Home / Testify

Mark Donnelly

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