Live Review: Drenge / Radkey / Kagoule, Bodega (12/10/13)

This Sheffield-based punky duo play a raucous show to a sold-out Bodega.

Eoin and Rory Loveless, the brothers behind Drenge, managed to dispell any lingering associations with fellow twosomes, The White Stripes and The Black Keys, with the arrival of their self-titled debut album earlier this year. Originally thought to have roots in American sludgy blues, the album proves that Drenge are about as punk as gets, regardless of the number of people in the band. When playing live, their no-holds-barred aggression only serves to hammer home this point.

Taking to the stage first are Kagoule, Nottingham’s finest talent right now. Their seven-song set is as majestic ever, ending in the Pixies-inspired ‘Encave’, which really ought to be the next single. Despite the odd technical difficulty, and Lucy dropping her bass pick, Kagoule show everyone what they’re all about. For this young trio, the only way is up…baby.

Next come Missouri’s riff-heavy garage-rockers, Radkey. At a first glance, they appear to be just another bunch of young guys playing standard chords and sticking to all the normal rock clichés: frantic movements and guitar solos on your knees. However, the dark, post-punk inspired ‘Cat & Mouse’ hints at a more intriguing side to this trio, while ‘Out Here In My Head’ is one of the best rock n roll songs you’ll hear all year. All the necessary potential, can they capitalise?

Finally, Drenge arrive. No introductions and no messing about, just half an hour of exhilarating, attitude-soaked punk. Sampling exclusively from that aforementioned debut album, apart from a novel new song, their set reaches a thrilling double-barrelled climax during Rory’s expert drumming on ‘Let’s Pretend’ and one of the biggest moshpits that Bodega has seen for a while during stand-out song, ‘Bloodsports’.

A superb night of music at the Bodega. Kagoule and Radkey are two of the better support bands you’ll see anywhere, while Drenge are loud, intense and they mean every single second of it. That’s rock n roll for you.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to Guided By Voices – ‘Game Of Pricks’…

[Photo credit to Shaun Gordon]

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