I was excited to see “Drenge” after a three year gap. They have been away for a while and the two brothers that were the core of “Drenge” have now grown to a band of four.
This reflects the growing maturity of their music and an evolution into something bigger than the old band.
I had done my research purchasing the new album “Strange Creatures” in advance of last night. Although in some ways not as immediately accessible as the first two albums it is a progression and there are strong threads from their previous work.
On the night they obviously gave the new songs a run out and they all work really well. It is difficult to sometimes work out what is from the back catalogue and what is new. Songs that worked well were “Strange Creatures” and “Bonfire of the City Boys “(that bass line is awesome and dominates the track). “Autonomy “ which is a sort of cross over track from old to new also hit the spot.
I was hoping not to be disappointed by them being away for so long but they are truly a great rock and roll band. The power and precision of the performance was in your face from start to finish. I would say live the new album feels like their best work. As with most bands the older numbers are not necessarily played with the same love as before or are changed or embellished to better represent the present as against the past.
Good job all round and would be missing them already.
- Prom Night
- Bonfire of the City Boys
- Never Awake
- Face Like a Skull
- Teenage Love
- Never See the Signs
- The Woods
- Running Wild
- Blood sports
- This Dance
- People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck
- Strange Creatures
- Let’s Pretend
- When I Look Into Your Eyes
- We Can Do What We Want
Support was originally supposed to be “Wytches” who unfortunately pulled out at the last minute. I spoke to a couple of guys who had come just for “Wytches” so hadn’t heard of “Drenge” before. Which is a shame as I see quite a few similarities between the bands in terms of feel and application to their music.
On the night support was provided by five piece “Valeras” who hail from Reading. Three girls and two guys they are all still in their teens but played some strong rock songs. They are ones to watch and have strong mainstream appeal would be my opinion. I hadn’t researched before viewing so didn’t have any preconceptions. They play on the rock side of musical genres rather than being indie or alternative.
Only comment I would make is that some songs ended abruptly without really reaching any sort of climax. I have seen this before with other bands where it’s almost as if they haven’t quite got the song to a level of maturity where they know how to end it. No doubt they will rework some of this along the way.
They looked like they were enjoying themselves, which is always good and the level of musicianship was sky high for such a young band.
With the right management and a bit of luck these guys will be playing some big stages in the future.
The venue is one I like as it’s never so crowded that you can’t move around and the audience were fairly chilled. Only complaint as no doubt mentioned before is paying £5.50 for a can of Redstripe.