The last time that most of the people in tonight’s audience had the pleasure of seeing Drenge they were still a two-piece garage/grunge/rock combo. Derbyshire brothers Eoin (vocals/guitar) and Rory Loveless (drums) have now been joined by long time childhood friend and bass guitarist Rob Graham.

Whether it was a conscious decision or a direct reflection on how they want to deliver their music, the impact is instant when they come on stage at the Deaf Insititute. Even more raucous, there is a greater edge to their grinding grunge, more of a thrust to their sound. More importantly - an indication perhaps of their individuality - they have moved away from the current trend of powerhouse duos such as Royal Blood and Slaves.

The Deaf Institute is a sell-out, many queuing in sub-zero temperatures outside the venue, hoping to get to the front of the stage. It is very tight in there, the capacity crowd of 260 packed in together.

There are no frills with Drenge. Very little communication with the audience seems to be their chosen method. For some reason the lights seemed to be brought down lower than I have experienced at this venue, definitely lower than the support band. The show is not, however, about lighting. It is about the music and the connection it has with an exuberant audience wanting to let themselves go.

From the opening riffs of ‘Running Wild’ and into ‘Gun Crazy’ and ‘Backwaters’, the whole floor is one throbbing, pulsating mosh pit. I don’t think I have ever seen a band and an audience work off each other in such an intimate venue with such force.

‘DIYAFA’, ‘Nothing’, ‘We Can Do’ and ‘Break You’ keep up that force with no let up from either the stage or the floor. ‘Bloodsports’, ‘The Snake’ and ‘Face Like a Skull’ bring about the inevitable bout of stage diving. This sort of chaos is rarely seen in smaller venues.

The last two songs of the night ‘Fuckabout’ and the awesome ‘Let’s Pretend’ bring the show to a frenzied end. This is a band that is going places. Bigger and better venues beckon. Drenge may have been ignored by all the latest polls of this year’s up and coming bands for 2015. Will it soon be a case of how did we miss these? I think so...

Photos by Billy Seagrave

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