Pop history is littered with numerous sibling acts who shone brightly for a few brief moments before burning out and breaking up. But the debut release by new outfit Riverway suggests that this particular band of brothers have the songs, the sound and the talent to go the whole hog and stay the distance.
01. Ronan MacManus: Lead Vocals, Guitar 02. Ruairi MacManus: Guitar, Vocals 03. Liam MacManus: Drums 04. Kieran MacManus: Keyboards 05. David Bowles: Bass
Hailing from the unfashionable realms of Twickenham, West London, Riverway comprises of no less than four brothers from the legendary musical family MacManus: Dad (Ross) was a renowned Jazz singer & elder brother (Declan) is better known under the nom de plume of Elvis Costello. Though they readily acknowledge and embrace their musical heritage, this current MacManus crop along with David Bowles on bass have a musical style & sound that is original and distinctive.
"We love Dec's stuff - and the music Dad played around the house when we were kids (everything from Sinatra to Segovia) gave us a really broad exposure to all genres of music" says eldest bro Kieran. "Scratch the surface and you might find traces of various things - but it's the sound we produce when the five of us get it together that defines and carries these songs".
Great songs, tight harmonies & chiming guitars (a.k.a the crucial elements of classic pop) can be found in plentiful abundance. Lead singer Ronan has a voice as pure, as aching and as tender as any contempory singer around today. On their debut release "Don't Start Me Off", never have bass, drums & guitar sounded so powerful, so economic and so vital. And this is just the beginning...
Unlike so many of their contemporaries, the Riverway boys have come up the hard way, cutting their chops and musical teeth around the "broken bottle 'n beer stench" London pub circuit, not earning a penny, but learning their craft. Ruairi: "We've worked together as a band for the best part of six years, since we left college. We've never done anything else. It's never even occurred to us"
These wonderfully crafted songs - and there's already 2 albums worth in the can - are a group effort.
Ronan: "There's no set format for what we do - we sometimes write together, sometimes separately - but the ideas always develop when the band gets hold of them. That's when the magic occurs and things really come together".
That these Gene Genies have tapped into a rich musical vein, running deep and true is undeniable. That, in doing so Riverway have created some of the finest and most uplifting songs of the last five years is unquestionable. Hear them for yourselves if you're in any doubt.
As for soaring to the dizzy heights of interstellar rock stardom - we'll leave that one in the laps of the Gods.
"Whatever happens, we'll always play music together" says David. "It's the force that binds us and the force that drives us - and that will never wear out"
Please follow this link for the official Riverway website.