Drenge (No 1,438)

A punky blues-rock duo from the Peak District obsessed with Danish avant-garde cinema

    • guardian.co.uk,
    • Jump to comments (1)
Derbyshire's Black Keys … Drenge

Reading on mobile? Click here to listen

Hometown: Castleton.

The lineup: Eoin Loveless (vocals, guitar) and Rory Loveless (drums).     

The background: Drenge may be from the Peak District but they often gig in Sheffield, have filmed videos in Sheffield and are to all intents and purposes a Sheffield band. Only they're more of a Milburn/Monkeys/Bromheads Jacket sort of Sheffield band than they are a Human League/Cabaret Voltaire/Clock DVA one. We bet they look good on the dancefloor, dancing not to electropop like a robot from 1984 (1981 would make more sense, actually) but to grunge (rhymes with Drenge) and garage and blues-rock like indie kids from 2006.

They're a pair of cute young brothers, a duo based on the White Stripes/Black Keys model, where one bashes drums and the other sings and slugs his guitar. There's no bass and it's pretty basic, but it's not pretty and if you get too near the speakers it might make you sick. They start a co-headline tour with Deap Vally next month and they're supporting the Cribs at Brixton Academy. They're signed to Infectious, just like Alt-J, but they're about as far removed from their polite Tessellations as you can get. Not that they're lad-indie anti-aesthetes. They came up with their name after becoming obsessed with Dogme 95 and avant-garde Danish cinema, and Denmark in general. One day they found themselves playing football with some Danes (as you do) who began shouting "drenge" at each other. What could it mean, they wondered? Boot that ballboy? Close: it means "boys", and they decided to adopt it because "it sounded really ugly and vicious, and a good way to describe these riffs we'd been kicking about."

Their music has been compared to everyone from Slade to 13th Floor Elevators, which is funny, not to mention completely untrue. C'Mon Feel the Fire Engine, anyone? And they reckon the drums on their song Dogmeat were inspired by dancehall. Ridiculous. They also claim not to care about releasing an album or indeed anything remotely careerist, but they do like playing live, especially the gig where it was totally empty except for the space-metal enthusiast dressed as a wizard. They have four songs, all bound to thrill those who have never been exposed to rock at its rawest and most unvarnished, or who have but just forgot. Bloodsports is the kind of punky indie racket we imagine they play on Xfm all day and night, and we don't know what fate would be worse, 24/7 Xfm or 24/7 X Factor. But it goes by fast and it appears to contain a message, unless they're being allegorical. I Wanna Break You in Half has the heavy riffage of Black Sabbath and sounds as though Messrs Iommi and Ward dropped by the shack where they recorded it to help out. Dogmeat comes with a video filmed in a phone box on Sheffield's West Street which evinces a queasiness towards not just today's various subcultural tribes but people in general – there seems to be a disgust at humanity, at our humanness, in their titles and lyrics. Case in point: People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck, which starts with a dead bird and works its way down from there. "We have no redeeming features, just a desperate streak to get along with the strong and be obsessed by the weak." Now there's something to chant as the winger sticks his size nines in.

The buzz: "A two man noise-rock outfit tearing up venues across the British gig circuit."

The truth: They're Derbyshire's Black Keys.    

Most likely to: Make you want to visit Attercliffe.   

Least likely to: Make you want to jump off a cliff.     

What to buy: Debut single Bloodsports is released by Infectious on 4 March.

File next to: Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Bromheads Jacket, Milburn.

Links: drenge.co.uk.

Friday's new band: Gnod.

What's this?

More from the Guardian

Latest reviews

  • BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Jamie Barton

    BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Final - review

    4 out of 5

    Winner of both prizes Jamie Barton is a great artist, with an imperturbable steadiness of tone and a nobility of utterance, writes Tim Ashley

Buy tickets for top Music events

Compare and buy tickets for thousands of events

  1. Rolling Stones Tickets

    Rolling Stones Tickets

    Saturday, 6 Jul, 2013

    Hyde Park - London

  2. Michael Buble Tickets

    Michael Buble Tickets

    Sunday, 30 Jun, 2013

    O2 Arena - London

  3. Queens Of The Stone Age Tickets

    Queens Of The Stone Age Tickets

    Saturday, 16 Nov, 2013

    Hydro - Glasgow

Tickets to more Music events Browse tickets

Today's best video

Guardian Bookshop

This week's bestsellers

  1. 1.  Hook, Line and Singer

    by Cerys Matthews £16.00

  2. 2.  People's Songs

    by Stuart Maconie £14.00

  3. 3.  Once Upon a Time

    by Ian Bell £6.99

  4. 4.  Vanished Years

    by Rupert Everett £7.19

  5. 5.  Bound for Glory

    by Woody Guthrie £7.99

Top stories in this section

Top videos

Most popular

Today in pictures

Paul Lester gives new groups a whirl, so you don't have to

Your IP address will be logged