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Riverside / Klone

SWX, Bristol
Monday 20th May 2024

Riverside are back for a second part of the ‘I.D. Entity’ Tour a year or so since they last toured these isles… and frankly my Prog socks are well and truly blown right off!

KLONE (Acoustic)

Klone at Bristol SWX May 2024

First up are French band Klone who entertain a receptive SWX crowd with a gripping acoustic set. A largely unknown quantity to many in the crowd Klone very soon win the crowd over with an atmospheric set of mesmerising dynamics. Yann Ligner’s resonant voice stands out and his band mates exude a surprising amount of restrained power on acoustic instruments. Flanked by the talented guitarists Guillaume Bernard and Aldrick Guadagnino, Klone create enthralling tapestries of sound, driven on by their outstanding drummer Morgan Berthet who just seems to be having so much fun! Their acoustic sound has traces of early 2000’s Anathema but they have very much their own identity. They have the confidence to roll out two impressive and moody new songs in Interlaced and The Unseen, underpinned by some deft bass playing by Enzo Alfano. Klone play a melancholic version of the Soundgarden classic Black Hole Sun which has the SWX crowd singing along. Ligner’s fine voice echoes powerfully around the auditorium as Klone finish with Yonder from their 2019 album Le Grand Voyage, and the SWX crowd love them.

Klone have well and truly warmed up the crowd for the main event. Crucially, they will also have ensured that the next time they return to the U.K. there will be quite a few more curious punters wanting to know if they sound just as good if not better with their full electric set. Simply one of the best support acts this writer has seen for quite a few years, and testament to Riverside for having the confidence to follow such a class opening act.

Gone Up In Flames
Grim Dance
The Drifter
Interlaced (New track)
The Unseen (New track)
Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
Rocket Smoke

(Thanks to Kevin Ball for the Klone setlist)

Yann Ligner – Vocals
Guillaume Bernard – Acoustic Guitar
Aldrick Guadagnino – Acoustic Guitar
Morgan Berthet – Drums
Enzo Alfano – Acoustic Bass

LINKS: Website (Kscope) | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp | X


Riverside at SWX Bristol  - May 2024

Riverside played the first leg of their U.K. I.D. Entity tour just over a year ago and have returned to include some areas not visited last year, including Bristol. For fans who saw them last year the set list is VERY familiar indeed with nearly the whole of their new album featuring again. However, since those dates Riverside have continued to tour Europe, North and South America and a year on this is the sound of a band entirely at ease with the new material which has matured with time. Additionally Riverside playfully embroider many of these new songs with extra or different elements or combine songs to dramatic effect. This becomes immediately evident on the extended intro to Addicted, which showcases Mariusz Duda’s lithe bass play and features some great organ work from Michał Łapaj. There is a definite air of mischief and fun exuded by the band, characterised by their prolonged comic ‘frozen moment’ in the evergreen chugging splendour of 02 Panic Room when the whole band freezes silently for a few seconds!

Riverside's Michał Łapaj at SWX Bristol  - May 2024

The first of the newer I.D. Entity songs follow with the crunching bass riff opening from Duda and some skilful guitar play from Maciej Meller, now well and truly established in the band, in the explosive Landmine Blast. Duda robotically announces Big Tech Brother and the band roll into a powerful but catchy rock song, complete with fun synth horns. Both Meller and Duda are rocking away standing on Piotr Kozieradzki’s drum riser and Łapaj solos away fluidly on keyboards. After these songs Duda takes the opportunity to explain the new album, which focuses on the identity of modern society but also crucially on the identity of Riverside as a band. He points out that this is a band which has changed and after the sadness of 2016 (when original guitarist Piotr Grudziński died). He tells the SWX that Riverside want to ‘reject melancholy’ with I.D. Entity. He also goes on to try to differentiate Riverside from Prog metal bands like Dream Theater, saying they are tired of such comparisons and he suggests that one of the main differences from Prog Metal bands is the more acoustic, subtle side of Riverside. They demonstrate that difference with the gentle opening of the gorgeously melodic Lost (Why Should I be Frightened by a Hat?) from one of their best albums, Love, Fear and The Time Machine. This is an outstanding interlude in the show and Duda jokes that the Dream Theater fans in the audience now all suddenly hide their Dream Theater T-shirts!

Riverside's Mariusz Duda & Maciej Meller at SWX Bristol  - May 2024

Riverside have the crowd totally in the palm of their hands and drive forward with crunching confidence into two of the best I.D. Entity songs in Post-Truth and The Place Where I Belong. Post-Truth really cooks with a tremendous bass and keyboard section, followed by a much subtler guitar and keys passage in which Duda intones briefly The Doors’ Riders on the Storm. They segue smoothly into the much more musically complex extended piece The Place Where I Belong. This is quite a ride with some fabulous Hammond organ work from Łapaj and some coolly elegant electric guitar work from Meller… and the SWX crowd joins in like a choir as the song plays out. There is an air of joy and celebration in the air. In complete contrast Egoist Hedonist from their heaviest album Anno Domini High Definition launches Riverside and the SWX into orbit. The gargantuan drum sounds of the percussive leviathan Piotr Kozieradzki lays down the tracks of the monstrously huge riffs of Egoist Hedonist which lays waste to the whole venue. However, before the apocalypse can fall upon us Łapaj saves us all with some gloriously funky synth horns, putting some real swagger into the rock. Łapaj radiates joy all night long with fluid keyboard play and huge smile on his face most of the time.

Of course, the main star of the event is the coolly charismatic Mariusz Duda who seemingly effortlessly performs brilliant bass lines like another lead instrument. He also sings with power and emotion as befits each song, alongside his warm humour in between songs. Duda states that Riverside are a band who really want the audience to interact with the band, unlike some Prog bands whom he feels stand on stage with a ‘STFU’ attitude towards their fans. He feels Riverside fans at gigs are the ’fifth member of Riverside’ and explains that they avoid visual images behind them as they feel watching the band perform should be interesting enough – he’s right, of course. Who needs visual imagery when a band is as scintillating on stage as Riverside?

Riverside's Mariusz Duda at SWX Bristol  - May 2024

The main set finishes with their ‘a-ha on steroids’ synth driven Friend or Foe? track. Any silly reservations from some fans last year about this being a rather ‘poppy’ 80’s tune (groan) seem to have been totally forgotten a year on as the crowd love its infectious groove with the fans bouncing along ecstatically – this will surely be a long-time live favourite, and the SWX goes bonkers.

Riverside at SWX Bristol  - May 2024

The encore commences with a brief snippet of Deep Purple’s Highway Star as the classic and playful intro to one of the best I.D. Entity songs, Self-Aware. Like last year, this song has it all – an intoxicating mix of infectious, powerful riffs, earworm lyrics and crowd chanting – for goodness sake, it even has some reggae hooks threaded through it just for the fun of it! They replace the extended proggy outro from the album with a thrilling section from one of my all-time favourite Riverside tracks, the titanically powerful Driven to Destruction from Anno Domini High Definition. This was the knockout punch from the band, leaving the crowd reeling from the power and waves of joy sweeping across the venue. A truly special way to conclude this musical maelstrom. However, Riverside send us all home with a delightful musical kiss, dating right back to their classic second album in 2005, Second Life Syndrome with the beautifully melodic Conceiving You… but even here Riverside mischievously subvert that song with an amusing extended skit based on the Silent Scream in which the crowd are encouraged to ‘whisper’ their ‘silent scream’ emotively – a concept seemingly beyond the comprehension of some fans, until a funny conclusive full on universal SCREAM by the whole crowd – after all, they are the fifth member of Riverside.

Riverside at SWX Bristol  - May 2024

Last year I concluded that Riverside confirmed ‘they are a truly world class act right at the top of their game…’ and they promised to return in 2024. Well, they did and the setlist was VERY similar, but it did not matter one jot. These are songs that they have grown into as a band and the fans are now much more familiar with the material. Riverside do not simply re-create carbon copies of their studio songs – on stage their material takes on new dimensions, performed by a band at the top of their game. To be honest, when Riverside tour it is a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ about getting a ticket – they are just so damned good and such fun on stage. Next time they are on tour don’t miss one of the best live bands currently out there on planet Earth… Now where did those socks go!

Riverside at SWX Bristol TPA (The Progressive Aspect) collage

Photos: Leo Trimming || CLICK HERE to view Photo Gallery on TPA

02 Panic Room
Landmine Blast
Big Tech Brother
Lost (Why Should I be Frightened by a Hat?)
The Place Where I Belong
Egoist Hedonist
Friend or Foe?
~ Encore:
Self-Aware (including opening of ‘Highway Star’ by Deep Purple) / Driven to Destruction
Conceiving You

Mariusz Duda – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Piotr Kozieradzki – Drums
Michał Łapaj – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Maciej Meller – Guitars

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