Drenge. From the band’s Facebook page.

Eoin and Rory Loveless, the Sheffield duo better known as Drenge played the far-too-small and now ridiculously named Adelaide Hall on Saturday night in support of Wolf Alice.  The former Limelight has undergone renovations that has redefined the space from what was once a spacious multi-level club with great overhead views of the stage from the second floor railing into something more akin to a large wreck room in someone’s basement.  It has nice acoustics and is an ideal space for smaller emerging bands, but quite inadequate for these two bands.

Needless to say, getting anywhere closer than 5 feet from the back wall would require slinking through fans with elbows extended, apologies galore, sheepish looks, behaviour that I deplore as would the fans who arrived early.  As it turned out, the band were bathed in dark red light all night anyway, a photographer’s worst nightmare, aside from no light at all.

All griping about the space now vented, Drenge were incredible, tearing through a near seamless 45-minute set, reserving chit chat to simple hellos and a few jabs at Taylor Swift, much to my delight.  I was put on to the band by a friend in Bristol who is friends with their touring bass player Rob Graham.  I checked them out online and really liked what I heard, but no streaming site can capture the raw and visceral experience of seeing these guys live.  Songs such as “Never Awake”, “Nothing” and “Running Wild” infuse elements of Punk, Metal and alternative rock and sound absolutely massive whether on the stage at Reading Festival or in a tiny rock club in Toronto.

And like their sound, I expect this band will be massive.  Check out the tune “Running Wild” below.

Dave MacIntyre