Drenge//Slaves//Dolomite Minor – The Boileroom.
Just in case anyone was wondering this place is still very much alive, a combination of lots of Suede gigs, not writing fast enough for other places so expanding said reviews into an epic trilogy of adventure rambles that nobody is likely to care for but i am building up intensely to buy more time because they’re all only part written at the moment, has been my vast excuse for the silent month. Anyway that aside rest assured part one will appear before this time next week and here’s a review I wrote of Drenge at The Boileroom back in September that got seemingly lost down the email black hole and never emerged to the world.
Slowly growing as the place to be in Guildford on a Monday night, despite its impeccably tiny size, The Boileroom is a venue not to be taken lightly in the fine array of bands it hosts, and in the sincerely impressive wake of their incredible debut album, Drenge certainly hit the place with full force.
Before their onslaught, though, came the attack of the twos in the form of Dolomite Minor and Slaves, and there is one band and one band alone that can prove that a duo of guitar and drums can be louder than any 7 piece thrash metal outfit or otherwise, it is Dolomite Minor. What they lacked in stage prescence (only four words muttered all evening got accross all they needed), they made up for in sheer unforgiving noise – with vocals particularly reminscent of Kurt Cobain and the drumming force of a thousand, they thundered through some severely grunge rock tracks and unsurprisingly won the crowd over in an instant.
Slaves, meanwhile, are successfully the first band to achieve posessing a frontman who is also the drummer – only using 2 cymbals and snares – that stands up and can effortlessly dance all whilst wearing a suit and tie, along with his bandmate (who appears to have got off lightly with only a guitar to his name), and if you’ve never seen that before, you are truly missing out. Once the crowd had recovered from the quite ridiculous looking set up, the ties and jackets were swiftly off and they stormed through a set of roaring assualt of heavy rock with the vocals of Johnny Rotten drowning in insane amounts of feedback. To top things off, the pair were a comedy duo onstage – one was even called Lawrie- telling enlightening tales behind every track that made everyone putty in their hands, an act that was utterly brilliant.
By the time Drenge took to the stage, the venue was living up to the name and the crammed in crowd was very much up for it, an understated “We love Guildford” and Gun Crazy proceeded to blow everyone away with severe, immense noise. By the time I Wanna Break You In Half had kicked in, the first shove had been made and the tiny venue had become a 200 person rabble fighting for their lives to the sound of Eoin Loveless rasping furiously down the mic.
Barely ten minutes in, the duo crashed into non-album track, Running Wild, a confessed favourite and rightly so, sounding as powerful as anything from the debut and already left itching for a studio version to isolate such brilliance. Debut single, Bloodsports, was sandwiched in the centre of the set and naturally from that moment onwards the best kind of hell broke lose once again,followed by the snarling Nothing and latest single, Backwaters, just in case you had still any doubts about the kind of blues-rock genius the outfit were capable of.
Favourite Son, another non album track, too immediately tore the roof of the place before they wallowed in the guitar drenched depths of Let’s Pretend, complete with an outro possibly longer than the song itself, showing off the impressively violent drumming of Rory Loveless, creating the kind of noise level to the point where eardrums had been rendered utterly inept, and crashing down into their goodbyes.
To round it all up, Face Like A Skull, arguably one of, if not, the best and undoubtedly infectiously catchiest, on their album was smashed through and lapped up from every corner of the now sweltering, but grinning, room before they fled the stage in the same quiet way they’d appeared, into silence without a trace of the madness that had just ensued.
In short, after one of the undoubtedly best debut albums 2013 has seen, Drenge are too a force to be reckoned with live, and with even more incredible tracks under their belt already, they’re far from done yet.