Iconic and minimalistic are acutely accurate words to describe the now commended venue The Joiners; a combination that can also be placed upon punk duo Drenge’s recent performance. Having to play in such an enclosed space runs the risk of sometimes over-powering the audience, especially with the harder and intense varieties of music Drenge possess links to. However, despite the previous night’s activities still lingering in my system, I was still sufficiently injected with the kind of energy all live artists wish to achieve. Perhaps it was the casual light-hearted relationship between brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless that continuously threatened to mould my mouth into a permanent grin. Or possibly the surprisingly competent ease at which the pair handled their corresponding instruments, reaching a generally high quality of sound and talent with seemingly so little to work with. Thus, the short set proved to be overall suited to its venue in how its initial appearance deceived and subsequently delivered the goods.
Remaining impressively comparable to its recorded counterpart, ‘Break you in half’ spat attitude and dark menacing undertones across the crowd, oozing confidence and youthful flair. As someone mostly averse to scream and punishing rage music, I was pleased to have experienced none of it with Drenge’s refreshed and relatable Ramones music style. A sound that revels in sadistic guitar riffs and drum beats, yet still manages to maintain attractive vocals and a coherent structure. ‘Bloodsports’ was a particular highlight within the set, living up to my previous opinions of it being a stellar and enticing edition to a genre currently lurking at the bottom of the music scene. Other tracks featured were the manic mosh-pit inducing ‘Going Crazy’, along-side the most recently released song ‘Backwaters’, which stirred up the crowd into a bustling frenzy of fan support .
It’s safe to say that I have even higher hopes for the upcoming talent of Drenge and anticipate a decidedly bright future for the brothers. So many bands and artists fall into the trap of being serviceable but bland, and yet for the moment Drenge have a unique and exciting personality about them which make them ones to watch for the next couple of years. Hopefully, with duo set to play festival spots such as Latitude and Reading/Leeds this summer, they will continue to revive the sleeping punk genre once more.