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Hitting the ASCENSION stage on Saturday 8th June at 22:15 is THESE WICKED RIVERS, a blues influenced rock band from Derby that formed in 2014. The band are thrilled to be playing at the Home of Rock and say, “How can you not be excited and appreciate what Ange is doing with The Patriot? What a venue to play at!”. They are really looking forward to be seeing all the great people associated with all the bands and seeing a healthy crowd. They say, “We’ve played with a lot of the bands on this weekend and we’re being introduced to new folks as well. We’re stoked to see some regular faces and excited about making new friends”. 

When the band first formed, they were looking to be a blues band hoping to get in on the scene with the likes of Marcus Bonfanti and Lewis Hamilton. But as the band started writing and playing together more, they found they were leaning more towards the rockier side of things, which merged into blues-rock. Initially, the band’s singer/guitarist, John Hartnell wrote all the lyrics, but the songs for the band’s next release contain lyrical contributions from all four members of the band, so musically as a band the writing has evolved greatly since inception. A massive challenge for the band has been losing their original bassist in 2018 after having had a stable line-up since the band’s formation in 2014. As they say, “The recruitment and replacement process took a lot out of us as we were still gigging with the original bassist, but also auditioning and jamming with new guys as well as writing for our next release. It completely kyboshed our plans for 2018, but now, we’re back on the path again!”. Like many other bands of a similar size, THESE WICKED RIVERS also have full time jobs and juggle the band, work and home life, which in itself is a challenge. Financial challenges and getting out on the road can be tough, but you need to put money in for your band to work, unless you have an investor.


The band played Stage Two at Planet Rock’s Planet Rockstock in 2017, which they say was “An incredible day, amazing crowd and an amazing reaction”. I can attest to that, I was there! They are “also chuffed that all the music we have released so far has been well reviewed. Hopefully there’s more of this to come!”.  Going back to playing live though, the band say there is nothing like the reaction from the folks in front of them. Plain and simple, that is why they do what they do. As with any musician, they love playing their instruments and writing, but primarily they write music that hopefully people will enjoy, so that when it’s played live they’ll get a positive reaction and get “called for encores and what not, that is an amazing feeling, particularly when you’re playing in a new place for the first time!”. 

THESE WICKED RIVERS draw on many bands in terms of live influences. Black Stone Cherry for their energy; Rival Sons for their delivery and appearance; Clutch in terms of portraying what they have done on record. They pay attention to all the bands they play with and if they like what they see, they talk to them, then maybe put their own spin on that idea. They don’t copy people, they are themselves but show their influences and be creative at the same time. One thing is for sure, when THESE WICKED RIVERS come off the ASCENSION stage on Saturday 8th June at 22:55, you will have seen a tight live performance, huge vocals, big solos, Arran’s twat hat and beards; BIG BEARDS. You’d better be prepared!


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