Photos (c) Paul Lippiatt
It’s a beautiful and triumphant ‘fuck you’ to those who forever claim that guitar music is dead.
Having picked up an NME award only the night before, brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless look enthralled to be back where they belong; in a sold out, dirge soaked venue, packed with Hookworms and Metz tees.
There’s a total feeling of togetherness having witnessed a special support from Traams and it appears 2014 is truly racing out of the traps with assertive nu-punk. A boozy sense of positivity lingers despite the wait for a pint proving to be an unenviable task, as Drenge modestly man their stations to the tune of Bela Lugosi’s Dead the trouble filters to the front and the lights flicker on.
During the climax of ‘Fuckabout’ when one after another, dripping bodies are pulling themselves onto the stage and leaping upon a swarm of arms. The drums build and the clinching lyrics “when words get stuck in your throat, and all you wanna do is choke” are crooned out, the floor sways, and the breathless majority just about keep those above suspended. It’s a beautiful and triumphant ‘fuck you’ to those who forever claim that guitar music is dead.
Everything is evil about the fuzzy sound that this duo produce, and the result is essentially a buzzed up modern day saloon brawl with ‘Backwaters’ and ‘Bloodsports’ proving the catalysts for such turbulence. Heads hit pillars. People strike upon the stage in agony, and the most exciting part is, it’s all against a backdrop of the rightfully crowned ‘best new band’. Although the pair quite evidently don’t need any written accolades to confirm that; everyone lucky enough to enter through these doors clutching a ticket tonight already knows it. Everything seems like it’s fallen perfectly into place on this Thursday evening, it feels like a moment we should bottle up and cherish because we’ll be lucky to have this pair back in The Fleece again.
Dotted amongst the self-titled ‘Drenge’ new material emerges and the pace doesn’t at all falter. It’s gnarly, distinct and all though daring, it doesn’t wander to far afield from the sounds we’re used to. ‘I Wanna Break You In Half’ again introduces the elbow meets ribcage action, leaving a sinister glint in the pairs eyes, they’re truly effortless, comfortable and best of all complacent. As the set is quite clearly coming to a close, drummer Rory lays down his sticks, stands up, approaches the stage front and like a wayward soul throws himself on top of us. It’s utter turmoil. His partner in crime then follows in the exact same manor, and we find ourselves suddenly barging into the most exciting band around.
Leaving the venue I become aware that my shirt now adorns the stains of blood. Panic is quickly induced as I hurriedly scan myself for signs of a gouge… thankfully though, I’m both glad and sorry to say that someone else will potentially be facing a rather large dentists bill.
Get down with a slice of ‘Backwaters’ right here: