1975

DRY RISER

BRISTOL

1978

 

NIGEL RAYNER - VOCALS THOM RICHARDSON - GUITAR / KAOSSILATION
PAUL BENSLEY - KEYBOARDS JACK MARSHALL - BASS
NICK HANCOX - DRUMS

 

Dry Riser was formed in 1975 by three students at Bristol University; Paul Bensley (keyboards), Nigel Rayner (bass) and Thom Richardson (guitar). They were joined by local lad Nick Hancox on drums and after struggling to find a suitable vocalist, Nigel also took over vocal duties. Dry Riser was originally a hard rock covers band, playing all the usual standards of the mid-70s (All Right Now anyone?). However, after seeing the Doctors Of Madness in Bristol and spending the summer of í76 absorbing the ripples of punk that made it down to his home town of Brighton, Nigel encouraged the band to take a different direction by writing their own material. So in late Ď76 and early Ď77 Dry Riser worked up a set that included their own punk-influenced material laced with a few cover songs more suited to audiences that were waking up to the excitement of punk. As Dry Riser played more gigs around Bristol they were joined by Jack Marshall on bass so that Nigel could concentrate on front-man duties, which included going on stage wrapped in cling film at one gig.

Dry Riser were a bit different to many punk bands of the era. Unlike groups that started out when punk emerged, they were closer to bands like The Stranglers. They were a working band that was inspired by the energy and attitude of punk, enabling them to escape the shackles of the traditional rock format. Out went the plodding rhythms and extended solos, in came frenetic speed (courtesy of Nickís powerhouse drumming), punchy songs and quirky lyrics. Yet the band kept the musicality of Thomís razor sharp guitar work and Paulís frenetic keyboards, making Dry Riser a combination of punk sensibility and skilled musicianship. Almost ďpunk-progĒ if such a thing could exist.

Dry Riser played at various venues around Bristol up to 1978 and recorded a demo at a local four-track studio. They did try hawking this round a few London agents but sadly they werenít ready for Dry Riserís mix of influences and somewhat skewed take on punk. The band broke up after Nigel, Thom, Paul and Jack left university and went their separate ways. The band members were all involved in various other bands over the years but thatís another story for another day. 

Nigel Rayner

 

 
     

 

 

Thanks to Nick Hancox & Nigel Rayner

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