We have attended a couple of Drenge gigs before this one. The first when they supported Wolf Alice about 2 and a half years ago, their second album Undertow having just been released. We also saw them last year at the Riverside in Newcastle. The reason I mention this is that by the time of the second gig Drenge had got themselves a real fan base and I witnessed the mosh pit from the balcony. To be honest, I was a little jealous that I wasn’t in it but at the same time I knew that, at 52, would not have coped! So, back to last night. When I got inside the venue, Northumbria University, and it was virtually empty. The question is where to stand? Naturally, with the wisdom of a 55 year old fool and the wishes of Michelle, I chose the barrier, front centre. The support, 5 piece band called Valeras, played their set to a half empty hall. The singer urged those that were there to get closer, I still had loads of room around me, all very comfortable. Valeras were good, I had never heard them previously. Good songs, good sound and good fun. They were confident and loud with songs such as Ricochet. I want to see them again, definitely a band I will look further into. You can catch them at various festivals this year including Reading and Leeds. Check them out yourselves. Those folks that didn’t turn up for Valeras missed a treat.
As we waited for Drenge to arrive the crowd behind us slowly but surely filled in. I looked at those behind me, they all looked like gentle and innocent folk. Maybe we would be safe after all. Drenge step up on stage and hit into the first song, Strange Creatures, the opener to the new album. However, by the third song the ‘innocents’ behind were turned into Demons of the Mosh. First injury an elbow into the ribs, nearly put me down but I slumped over the barrier. Michelle looked at me concerned……did I want to move? Are my ribs broken? Of course, there was no way I was giving in. A song or two pass, a track from Undertow sent them crazy again. The other side of my rib cage gets ploughed into the barrier, this time some bad pain. Same questions from Michelle, same answer from me. Just a few minutes later it happens again, exact same place. The rest of the gig I spent virtually standing side-on with an eye on Drenge and an eye on the danger zone. I should say that Drenge were great. They have some great songs in the back catalogue already, which complemented the tracks from Strange Creatures. There was plenty of shout-out love for Rory on the drums. He also provided us with the amusement of throwing a drumstick and landing it straight on brother Eoin’s face. All taken in good heart. Eoin was in great voice, powering the songs over the top of the guitars and drums. If you like a band at the top of their form and a mosh pit Drenge are the band to see. You won’t be disappointed. I will be seeing them again but from the safety of the edges.