REVIEW: By The Rivers @ The Great Escape

If the sound of By the Rivers could be categorised as weather, it would be very similar to the gloriously sunny Saturday on which they entertained Great Escape festival-goers on Brighton pier. The six-piece reggae outfit from Leister filled Horatio’s bar with summertime vibes and an infectious skank, making the sun seem to shine that little bit brighter.

Having previously supported the likes of Groundation, The Selector and The Wailers, the crowd may have not been as big as BTR are used to, however this did not affect the energy that was put into the performance. Every band member was bouncing around the stage (with special reference to bassist Will Todd who has some of the best moves I’ve seen) with a true adoration for the music they were playing. This energy soon spread to the audience and the empty space in front of the barrier-somewhat reminiscent of underage discos – soon filled with people dancing.

The performance featured a variety of musical quips from guitar and keys solos, brass breaks and heavy bass riffs all overlaid with a wonderful three part harmony between frontman Nile Barrow, drummer Jordan Birtles and keys player Sam Read. The songs were very strong lyrically, commenting on current states of poverty and political systems, delivered with genuine heartfelt for the subject matter. BTR performed a mix of tracks from their first self-titled album as well as a large amount new material showing a lot of promise for a second that is hopefully not too far away.

With their 30 minute set finishing all too soon, I left wanting more of their addictive sound. Already appearing on the bill for several festivals, the Leicester six piece will no doubt be providing the soundtrack to many people’s summers, hopefully once again bringing the sun.

By Gavin Jones

The Verse Staff

Next Post

ALBUM REVIEW: Wolf Alice - 'My Love is Cool'

Wed May 20 , 2015
If you’re reading this and you don’t know who Wolf Alice are it’s high time you climb out from that proverbial rock and get acquainted with one of Britain’s best up and coming bands. The band have played many high up slots at major festivals such as Reading & Leeds, […]

Get In Touch

Editor in Chief                                            Alice Pierre & Daisy Bradshaw

Student Voice Editor                       Sarah Tann

Arts Editor                                      Bethany Jo O’Neill

Entertainment Editor                         Federica Purcaro

Creative Editor                                  Roxanne Clark

News Editor             

Social Media Manager                                 n/a

Photographers                                                Alice Pierre                                                          Tate Batham

Website Manager                                          Amber Eder



About us

The Verse is run by students, for students. If you’re studying at University of Brighton and you’d like to get involved by writing for us or becoming a sub-editor, we welcome you to contact us via email.

The Verse is funded and supported by Brighton Students’ Union.

The views expressed on The Verse online newspaper do not necessarily represent the views of Brighton Students’ Union, its management or employees. For more information or for any enquiries, please contact the Marketing and Communications Team at