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When Rivers Meet review at Adrian Flux The Waterfront, Norwich



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Going to a sold out gig is a great feeling for music fans and must be an even greater feeling for the band.

I remember seeing Oasis at a similar sized venue, capacity a couple of hundred, before they were massive and I wonder if what I witnessed last night is a sign of deja vu.

When Rivers Meet, (WRM) a husband and wife duo who hail from Downham, performed at the music venue the Adrian Flux Waterfront last night to a sold out crowd.

The Waterfront is a live music venue and nightclub in King Street, Norwich and is located on the bank of the River Wensum, opposite Norwich Riverside.

When Rivers Meet have nearly sold out their show at the Waterfront in Norwich. (55203189)
When Rivers Meet have nearly sold out their show at the Waterfront in Norwich. (55203189)

I spent many a night out at this venue in my youth when I lived in Norwich so to return to review them here is a privilege indeed.

Particularly this band as When Rivers Meet, Aaron and Grace Bond are deserving of the accolades they are receiving and the success they have garnered so far.

The lockdown was a pivotal time for the rock and blues duo along with their band when, as theatres and venues were struggling to provide live entertainment the band went online and performed live streams every Saturday night.

When Rivers Meet have nearly sold out their show at the Waterfront in Norwich. (55203185)
When Rivers Meet have nearly sold out their show at the Waterfront in Norwich. (55203185)

This has given them a good fan base, growing online, to be able to sell out venues and tour in Colchester and London alike.

Having interviewed Aaron before over the phone previously, he is down to earth and approachable and his original home town of Downham Market is important to him.

Having won numerous awards in blues and rock, they released their album Saving Grace and now making music videos and being featured on front covers such as RnR a rock and blues music magazine, it appears that the world is their lobster.

When Rivers Meet. Picture: Rob Blackham (44190397)
When Rivers Meet. Picture: Rob Blackham (44190397)

In the spring of this year WRM have embarked on a 23-date headline tour of the UK to be followed by Europe and US tours later in the year.

Since bursting on to the UK Blues scene in 2020 with debut EPs, Grace and Aaron have been going from strength to strength.

The British husband and wife duo have an ever-growing online fan base and have been played regularly on BBC Radio 2.

When RIvers Meet performed at a sold out show as they headlined at the Adrian Flux Waterfront, Norwich. (56682961)
When RIvers Meet performed at a sold out show as they headlined at the Adrian Flux Waterfront, Norwich. (56682961)

Their unique harmonic vocal-led approach to song writing, dirty electric guitar, slide resonator mandolin and fiddle create a unique distinctive and contemporary blues rock sound that echoes 1970s classic rock with hints of the 1930s blues that inspire them.

Supported by Troy Redfern, the When Rivers Meet gig at the Adrian Flux Waterfront in Norwich last night was simply outstanding.

Troy ably opened the night with his solo set, with Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar playing he impressed the audience with his own material such as song Sanctify.

Aaron and Grace Bond are When Rivers Meet. (56682958)
Aaron and Grace Bond are When Rivers Meet. (56682958)

The anticipation from the audience for the headliners Aaron and Grace Bond was palpable.

I met Aaron and Grace before the gig and Aaron was 'on top of the world' to be playing this sold out gig while Grace was looking forward to the 'great energy' that performing live permits.

Their real life bond as husband and wife is clear to see when they perform, their is real love there between them and for what they are doing and this permeates in to the onlookers who regularly shouted out 'we love you Grace' to which she would respond 'we love you too.'

Aaron Bond, Lynn News reporter Jenny Beake, with Grace Bond as When Rivers Meet prepare backstage to headline at the Adrian Flux Waterfront, Norwich. (56682964)
Aaron Bond, Lynn News reporter Jenny Beake, with Grace Bond as When Rivers Meet prepare backstage to headline at the Adrian Flux Waterfront, Norwich. (56682964)

Proud parents Chester and Sheila Bond had travelled from Downham and Aaron's brother Ashley, who lives in Norwich, were all there to support.

Sheila, Aaron's mother said: "It's the first time I've seen them for a while and I am really excited."

When I asked Chester, Aaron's dad how he was feeling about seeing them perform he said: "I'm OK as I know they're brilliant."

Troy Redfern was the support to When Rivers Meet. (56682967)
Troy Redfern was the support to When Rivers Meet. (56682967)

Fan Jenny Aldis, from Norwich, with a photo of herself taken with Grace and Aaron she proudly showed me, had seen them headlining at Dereham Blues and watched them at Cambridge Junction and she said: "I am a big fan.

"They have got thousand of fans and they are on the way up."

The songs are powerful rock and blues and Grace, petite and demure has a powerhouse voice and oozes charisma on stage, multi talented she also plays the violin and mandolin.

Both perform charismatically and when Grace exits stage to slink in to the audience the quality of her voice is pure.

It was a funny moment when she was amongst the audience and fro on stage Aaron asked: "Has anyone seen my wife? Oh it's OK she's at the bar."

In between songs Grace references how they met and said: "I was a barmaid at the Live and let Live in Downham and Aaron was a punter.

"We are so excited to be here, especially for this Norfolk boy.

"I am from Cambridegshire but only a couple of miles away."

Aaron quipped: "It's OK she's got her passport."

My favourite part of their set was when they played a couple of songs together.

Though she joked that it was a luxury to have an expensive band playing with them they wanted to strip back to basics, to where it all began with just the two of them.

This love story between them is a powerful factor, I believe, in their attraction and I think they should unapologetically keep that part of the set alive.

With songs such as Lost and Found and their encore hit testify this is band well worth seeing.

Tonight they will find out how their nomination goes at the rock and blues awards.

As Aaron said on stage: "Now slow you down boi."

But I doubt there will be any slowing down for these talented artists and When Rivers Meet deserve all the success that is coming their way.

Even if their journey first began started with two star crossed lovers, across a bar in Downham Market, gigging to four or five people and travelling in a battered old campervan, they are on the road to success and Norfolk is behind them all the way.



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