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Drenge - Backwaters


As we look ahead to the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival this weekend we turn our attentions to bands we’re most certainly looking forward too. Artists performing include Damon Albarn, Kelis, The National, Franz Ferdinand, Haim, Jagwar Ma, Metronomy, James Blake and Drenge.

Some music has an extraordinary capability of rousing raw deep seated feelings that for a majority of the time lay dormant; songs riffs can be so raucous, lyrics so sourly twisted and deliverance dangerously brash that any recipient could be forgiven for falling to their knees howling at the moon. Once upon a time Iggy and the Stooges produced such music and now Drenge, whose track Backwaters is our pick of the day, are proving that they too can ignite the fuse of the human condition.

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Hailing from the Peak District and signed to the London based Infectious label the Loveless brothers Eoin (vocals and guitar) and Rory (drums) chose the band’s name after a kick about with a group of Danish lads left them captivated with the unusual foreign term that in English simply means ‘boys’:

“It sounded really ugly and vicious, and a good way to describe these riffs we’d been kicking about.” They told us, and believe me they weren’t kidding, the boys project their “vicious” self-portrayal in Backwaters from the very first volatile chord strike right the way through to the last distorted twang, channelling B.R.M.C, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath and a number of other fierce Rock and Roll spirits along the way. Drenge have followed the same band blueprint as the White Stripes and the Black Keys and just as their contemporaries proved it is very easy to forget that there are only two of them playing; the combined effect of Rory Loveless’ thunderous drumming and brother Eoin’s dirty driving guitar licks summon a wall of sound most four piece outfits couldn’t even begin to build.

Lyrics such as “blackened eyes and purple nose, missing teeth I’ve got a lot of those” are just snippets from a vast array of macabre mumblings in Backwaters that offer insight into the mind-set this song was born of but, if you ask me, on this occasion it is not about the words it’s all about the sound… and what a racket it is!

The Drenge duo have very rarely stopped gigging since rising to popularity and they’re showing little sign of slowing down. The bothers plan to make their way across Europe in April, before returning home to perform Field Day and End Of The Road festival in the Summer.

You can listen on air and see Drenge’s performance live and on demand at

Joshua Hevicon