eoin loveless


The Green Door Store, Brighton – 9th October 2013

The rise and rise of Drenge continues unabated and you get the impression the Loveless brothers face the whole situation with a large degree of bemusement. Having sold out The Haunt in their last visit to Brighton in the company of fellow duo Deap Vally, the shut up signs are out again as they make their solo return to The Green Door Store. And it's good to see plenty of youth in the audience – here to enjoy all of the bands – as well as the usual collection of thirty- and forty-something indie kids who have been the lifeblood of Brighton's live music scene over the past few, fallow years.

Derbyshire's Crash Street Kidds still behave like unruly boys on a school trip, shuffling on to the stage in t-shirts and jeans, heads down, giggling at private jokes and chucking random items at each other throughout the set. Drummer Rory waits for Eoin to get well into his crashing introduction to one number before hefting a bottle of water into him and the rowdy atmosphere is underlined by the five young moshers who spend the whole set crashing into each other at the front and not really bothering anybody else.

There's more than juvenile fun on offer tonight, though. Despite the lack of sophistication in Drenge's approach, their delivery is something altogether different, dripping understanding and knowledge. And indeed, class. Like the St Trinians' girls stealing the Vermeer, at first you find it hard to believe they know what a Vemeer is, and then you simply marvel at their brilliance in purloining it. As Drenge power through their jagged English blues, you know that they shouldn't be this good, they shouldn't know how to do this at their tender age, and you soon come to realise this is not something these boys have learned, but more of a pure, instinctive understanding of what is musically right and proper. Injected with lusty, raw power, it is a wonderful thing to behold and it's not hard to see why Drenge are selling out in the best possible way.

Not that there isn't intrinsic growth in the band. In the few months since we last saw them they have added subtle twists, blind alleys, bottomless pits and vertiginous heights to their music, all warmly noted and embraced. A cracking version of 'Backwaters', dedicated to their home town of Castleton, is a highlight and 'Let's Pretend' continues to level mountain ranges before 'Fuckabout' appropriately brings this school outing to an end, Eoin declaring with a chuckle that it is sincerely meant. And in many ways it shows a grudging awareness of the madness that confronts them on a daily basis. Drenge know deep down how good they are, but seem unwilling to come to terms with such an idea. This makes them a pleasing contradiction at the current time. Things will change soon enough so try and catch them before they really grow up. Because then we have no doubt they will still be great, but they will be comfortable in that knowledge and we doubt they will be quite such boisterous fun.


Words Adam, Pics Gary

rory loveless

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