Acoustic Sessions: By The Rivers, Preacher and The Bear, Lewys Holt
St Martins Coffee, Leicester
Thursday 27 March 2014

One of my favourite Leicester bands playing in a favourite Leicester coffee shop, yes please!

The day’s weather – more befitting the new Russell Crowe film rather than a spring day – certainly didn’t put-off the sold out crowd packed into the upstairs of St Martins Coffee for just their second acoustic session, headlined by Leicester’s rising stars By The Rivers.

The night got off to a rousing start with the acoustic sounds of Lewys Holt and friends, followed up by the anarchic blues of Preacher and The Bear. Renowned for their cracking live shows the Preacher and the Bear didn’t disappoint with a stripped back set for the acoustic night. Dom Potts on bass, just playing his second show, ably supporting the Preacher and of course The Bear! Check out their ‘Their Super Blues Sound’ new material coming out early April. Weblink:

Since seeing By The Rivers for the first time at one of the Landsdowne’s open mic nights a few years ago the band have had a rapid rise. With an acclaimed support of The Specials on their UK arena tour and last year’s performance on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury saw them tipped as one of the future stars of the Pyramid Stage.

The band now even has their own coffee! Head down St Martins to pick up the limited edition coffee signed by the band to support Sue Ryder charity.

Playing tonight, just as a three piece, as part of their acoustic tour by The Rivers rattle through tracks from their debut album with highlights ‘One Word’, ‘Rocksteady’, ‘Vulture’ and new material including ‘Slow Down’ from their latest session. If you’ve not seen By The Rivers yet, check them out for their own fresh and contemporary take on Reggae and Ska, packed with good time tunes, perfect for the up and coming festival season.

As By The Rivers close their set with a rapturous encore, I asked my friend what she thought after seeing them play for the first time, “I like them so much my face is hurting!” (She was smiling so much!) – that’s got to be a sign of a great night!

Located in St Martin’s Square, the coffee shop not only serves some of the best brews you’ll find in the city, it’s now developing into one the best venues too! Check out the next acoustic session at St. Martins on Thursday 24 April with 3 Minute Heist, Skunk Boy Project and Matt Lloyd.


All words by James Hickford