Show time helps brothers make mark overseas

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“That’s all you need,” says an excitable David Letterman after Sheffield-based band Drenge appeared on the host’s Saturday night show.

The band – brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless with touring bassist Rob Graham – blasted through their We Can Do What We Want.

Eoin says: “It was quite an experience. The theatre was literally right off Times Square in New York, so we stepped out from the street and were pretty much there.

“It was really exciting to do it though and it made a big difference to our profile while we were over there as people had heard of us after the show.

“Suddenly there were no questions asked as people thought ‘they must be okay then.”

Drenge are now touring the UK to promote their second album, Undertow – released on Easter Monday – which follows the hugely successful self-titled debut.

Undertow was written while on the road and between their hometown of Castleton and their home of Sheffield.

The album, for the first time, features a third member in Rob, who is also joining the band on stage for the tour.

Eoin says: “Having Rob is great. We all went to school together and Rob was always our ‘mentor’.

“He’s a bit older than us and when we were getting into music he’d make us mix tapes and give us lifts to gigs.

“It’s really good to have him on board and the live sound is so much heavier now he’s on stage with us.”

Drenge – a mispronunciation of the Danish word for boys – have been working as a band for several years, and they rose to fame following the resignation of Labour MP Tom Watson, who referred to the post grunge band in his leaving letter to party leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, saying: “And if you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge.”

Live, Drenge are a testament to the sweaty, visceral, tribe-like experience a gig ought to be.

Hundreds of people thrash around in a mosh pit while others line the perimeter, eagerly tapping feet and shaking heads.

Yet this raw, post-punk charisma that oozes off stage is a world away Eoin’s polite, unassuming manner.

But it is the band’s live reputation that has won them fans.

Eoin says: “I think it’s harder and harder to make original music and if we were just to examine the music of the past and interpret that it would be purely academic, but at least live you can do something new.

“Nobody can watch The Beatles live any more and it’s not possible to see Nirvana again, but it is possible to see a band like us. People who have seen Nirvana have said we are the modern equivalent.”

And, much like Nirvana, Drenge’s music is accessible and wild at once –Eoin says: “Our shows are a bit like that too – they are anti-social and very social at the same 
time.”

Musically Drenge’s songs are an expression of frustration.

“I think we need music to accompany our feelings,” Eoin says. “We have songs to be sad with and happy with but when you’re frustrated you just want something to shout along to. There aren’t many songs that sum up feelings of frustration.”

However, at the same time, Eoin acknowledges he does not have much to be frustrated about.

“We are so lucky to be able to be doing what we’re doing,” he says.

“It’s amazing.

“I find listening to classical music can offset frustration because it instantly confuses your brain in the sense that you’re not submitting to a song that’s loud with stupid lyrics.”

n Drenge will play The Leadmill, Sheffield city centre on Friday, April 17. For tickets, priced from £12, visit leadmill.co.uk