WRM photo credit ©Laurence Harvey

WHEN RIVERS MEET Live at the Waterfront Norwich

WHEN RIVERS MEET are the first British Blues band to win four awards in the same year!

Grace Bond (vocals, mandolin and violin) and Aaron Bond (vocals, guitar) create authentic rootsy music that sparkles with edginess. Their sound is an infestation of spatulate rhythms, with Grace’s voice splitting into the tonal architecture to deliver distinctive verses that are brave, unrepentant, and fearless. Their songs are most often about their unwavering love, or about how emotions & passions can hook a person in and, then perhaps, entangle them!

We were lucky enough to catch WRM on their ‘Breaker of Chains’ tour 2023 at the splendid Waterfront venue, in the beautiful city of Norwich.

On this special night (Norfolk claims ‘ownershp’ of the musical duo because Grace and Aaron first met each other at Downham Market) their concert was a pantless* and panting jubilancy of rust & mustard, with exceptional musicianship, and an abundancy of brilliant stage presence!

brimming with zeal, ardour, and flammability!

Raw Ramp Music Magazine

The sexily forceful ‘Play My Game’ launched the show, following a shy kiss between the husband and wife. Grace entered the stage wearing skintight denim short-shorts, and a tightly cropped waistcoat, and promptly began promenading like a flirty catamount: fervescent with propulsive oomph!

Never Coming Home’ had a gruffness that reminded us of Big Brother and the Holding Company (in their peak) translucence. It was brimming with zeal, ardour, and flammability!

The rattle and clack of the miscreant song, titled: “Did I Break The Law?” brought gruelling ‘n’ pummelling bottleneck guitarwork to the room, with acrimonious hollow screams from Grace, and some scraping, yet gratifying, percussion. This number had all the character of a hoodlum on the run. And, at the Waterfront, the song came over like fumes from a smoky coal-plant blower on a windless night! Dark, mysteriously brooding, and scorching heavy.

Aaron Bond WRM photo credit ©Laurence Harvey

Aaron took the lead vocal on the swing-swang and boinky ‘Take me to the River’ and the song became a ziggety joy, complete with Grace’s oohs! and aahs!

The zippy ‘Do You Remember My Name’ with its toe-tapping beats, cigar-box (sounding) guitar jangle, the hip-grinding swing, and a profoundly affective inquisitional verse structure, was among our (many) favourites. This song erupted into a riot of colour and texture! It almost took the roof off! Yes, it was as flammable as gun-cotton!

My Babe Says That He Loves Me’ featured a triumphal, thumping beat, and a joyful (though blueish) tinge. Grace’s voice was super-boisterous and fiercely passionate on this one.

Grace Bond WRM Photo credit ©Laurence Harvey

And Grace’s voice split through the tonal architecture on the arrangement for ‘Testify’ like a wounded backwoodsman brandishing a rusty axe into a difficult treetrunk; this was while Aaron established a bed of sub-metal groundwork with his incredibly efficient wire-brush guitarplay. In other words, this stunning number was unrepentant, brave, and truly courageous.

The soundscape at the Waterfront was stunning (amazing work by their sound engineers!) And so ‘Make a Grown Man Cry’ was unbelievably powerful! This was a rock ‘n’ roll barnstormer, a bass-heavy shellcracker that arrived with a super-defiant attitude and a gloriously energetic vocal. Yes, this cracker was clever, suffocating, and tigerishly hot.

You have to witness this band if you appreciate rusty-firm stomping blues sounds that come packed with sassy-steamy vocals and the kind of furious electric guitar energy that generates a howl directly into your heart! Yessiree, this concert was a high-energy affair, double-daring, and came filled with red-blooded hotness!

* ‘Have you ever fancied the pants off somebody?’ Aaron asked the audience.
Grace commented, with a saucy wink: That’s amusing, because tonight I’m not wearing any pants!

Words: @neilmach 2023 ©
Photos credit ©Laurence Harvey

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