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Newbury musicians strike record deal

Folk band, Dry the River, have signed a contract with international record company, Sony

A FOLK band which formed in Newbury has struck a record deal with international record company, Sony.

Dry the River were recently signed to a contract following a 40-date tour at the end of last year, and will be playing at around 30 festivals this summer, including playing the famous John Peel stage at Glastonbury on Saturday, June 25.

Band members include Peter Liddle, the 24-year-old front man and guitarist, and classical violinist Will Harvey, aged 23, both of whom are from Newbury, alongside John Warren, aged 28, on drums, Scott Miller, aged 26 on bass, both from Camberly and Matt Taylor, aged 25, from Studley, Warwickshire, on guitar.

Mr Liddle and Mr Harvey met when they were both pupils at St Bartholomew's School, Newbury, where they were in bands together, after which they both went to study at Bristol University before Mr Liddle went on to study medicine at course at Kings College.

Mr Liddle studied anthropology at university and Mr Harvey studied theology and religious studies.

Although the line up of Mr Liddle and Mr Harvey's band and its name has changed several times over the years, both men stayed together through university forming other bands until, eventually, Dry the River was formed.

Mr Liddle said: "When I was at medical school, I started to write songs in my bedroom.

"We (him and some other performers) formed a band, it was just something to do for fun."

In October the band signed up with Warner as their publisher, which, Mr Liddle said gave them enough money to go full time so he made the decision to turn his back on his medical course.

After their 40-date tour around UK at the end of last year, they finally signed to Sony in February.

Mr Liddle said: "We were playing a lot of venues that record companies came to; once one label takes an interest, all the other labels think they are missing something.

"We have to pinch ourselves when we were going through the contract.

"We hope it's the start of big things for us but it's hard to tell because it's a fickle business.

"If we can just pay the bills, that will be a good start; I don't think anybody is trying to plan too far ahead, we are just trying to enjoy it and see how things go."

Dry the River expect to finish recording their album at Tarquin Studios, Bridgeport, Connecticut, later this year.

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