LIVE REVIEW: Drenge, Valeras @Northumbria Institute, Newcastle (28.03.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Drenge take to the stage after we’ve all been warmed up nicely by the delightful Valeras, whose singer impressed with a great voice and natural musicianship. The Lovelace brothers are now joined by two more members to fill out Drenge’s live sound. The audience seems a varied mix of young and older fans, and maybe some Drenge virgins in the room enticed in by the more commercial sounding new album. 

Eoin’s wearing a very dapper, 80’s influenced grey suit as if he was about to clock into the office rather than rock the Uni; opening with new album title track Strange Creatures, the bass is so loud you can feel it in your chest, but the song is rather a gentle slow burner and I had expected something more full-on to draw the audience in as their opening salvo. Second song Autonomy hit more of a note, with its awesome synth loop and catchy chorus getting the crowd singing along. 

Now it came time for the band to reconnect with their wilder roots with Face Like A Skull from 2013’s debut album. It was interesting to see how the older tunes appealed more to the younger members of the crowd, who upon hearing this song immediately got the mosh pit going with an actual wall of death, taking me back to grunge gigs from my teen years! 

Other stand out tracks for me were Running Wild, with brilliant dynamics dropping down in the middle of the song to almost silence before bringing it back in ready for the moshers to go wild again.  

Bonfire Of The City Boys was amazing, with Eoin’s monologue over a repetitive bass, building and building before hitting the audience with a massive instrumental wall of sound, the lights sparse and red.

The lads returned to the stage for the encore of debut album favourite Bloodsports, uniting old and new Drenge fans to finish off the night.

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