Drenge deliver a master class in how to keep a gig rolling
Silence: not an adjective you’d dare attach to Drenge, yet that was the case in one way tonight. Eoin Loveless just does not interact with the crowd. Now, surely that’s bad? That’s an integral part of live performances right? Well, no; he just doesn’t need to. There’s letting the music do the talking, and then there’s Drenge letting their music do the talking – it’s on a different level.
Rarely do bands in this brave new era seem capable of hyping up an audience to the appropriate extremes without the need for even a minute amount of the naffest chit-chat, but Eoin and Rory delivered one of the most explosive spectacles you’re likely to see from two guys, a guitar and a drum kit. Other bands at times come in for scathing criticism when they refrain from partaking in crowd conversation; I think people would be disappointed in Drenge if they did. It would disturb their sensational rhythm for starters.
That said, we shouldn’t be surprised by the get-on-with-it attitude to things. There is nothing forgiving about their critically-acclaimed debut album and it was brought to life with the glorious post-grunge gloom we’ve become accustomed to hearing from the two Derbyshire brothers.
The standout moment of the night was without doubt popular early single Bloodsports, its sinister sound presenting plenty of opportunities for callous moshing and frenzied headbanging as the floor at Scala shook beneath a sizeable gathering of fans of all ages. Lest we forget a 47 year-old MP was among the first to bring Drenge into the spotlight and the venue was far from a sea of youth – refreshing to see.
As I said, there was really no rapport between band and fans here from a dialogue point of view, and it only served to create the most mind-blowing performance. No how are you’s; scarcely a thank you or acknowledgment; the Loveless boys were dead set on keeping the bodies slamming against each other with an unrelenting hour of gutsy hard-rocking mayhem. They were so absorbed in their world; everyone else was utterly encapsulated by theirs and the whole event ran like clockwork. The telepathy was quite something to behold.
And it seemed that Drenge’s avid followers have become so conditioned to the instrument-heavy nature of their music that even inter-song guitar screeching and drum rumbling was sufficient to spark riotous bedlam. The unparalleled outrage coursing through the veins of People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck and I Wanna Break You In Half teetered on the edge of the stage before all of a sudden nose-diving into the pit below. One by one, determined crowd surfers set out on a quest towards the front, though the only real winner was one plucky lad, shirt long tossed away, who managed to encircle Eoin and Rory before taking a triumphant running leap back into the frolicking, sweat-drenched masses. Take a bow, son.
All-in-all, this was a night on which Drenge reaffirmed what we largely already knew: this is an incredibly special musical duo. For two people to create such an intense sound and atmosphere and keep the show flowing so effortlessly is a mighty task, but then again should we ever have doubted it from them? To reference their set-closing song, this was far from a Fuckabout.