Drenge @ Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool 25/04/18

Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory was the location of Sheffield alt rock band Drenge‘s ‘grand re-opening’ on Wednesday night. After a nearly three year absence, the boys are back on the road.

Before the main attraction, the opening support slot was left in the capable of hands of scouse outfit Strange Collective whose noisy guitar music impressed the IWF crowd which relatively large for that early in the evening.

DSM IV were next up with their bubbly 80s electro-pop. The quartet’s charismatic mustachioed and mulletted vocalist got the crowd going.

Clad in navy boiler suits well suited to their industrial surroundings, the trio took to the stage with a fourth member on bass. Drummer Rory cuts a red ribbon strung up across the stage to cheers from the crowd as frontman Eoin reads a speech from a scrap of paper. “Back where we belong; on the road and in your hearts” is the line from the elder of the Loveless brothers.

Drenge opened with a new track, which was the first of a handful sprinkled throughout the set – including ‘The Dance‘ which got it’s first play on Radio 1 that night.

Halfway through the set, the band took a minute for a photo op. Eoin posed for the cameras holding a big cardboard cheque. It was made out to a fund for economic growth in the North of England and included proceeds from the merch stand. This was a nice gesture and certainly went down well with the audience.

The mosh pit was full of energy as Drenge bounced through fan favouriteslike ‘Bloodsports‘ and ‘We Can Do What We Want‘. I regard them as one of the best live bands around and they didn’t disappoint. There was always going to be a risk of first night nerves or ‘rustiness’ after a lengthy hiatus but the guys reached the levels I remember fondly from their last two Liverpool shows in 2015 at the Kazimier and the Magnet.

The encore was a little bit different. It was just Eoin who answered the calls of “one more song”. Grabbing his acoustic guitar and hopping down from the stage, he sat cross-legged in the middle of the crowd and proceeded to play an acoustic rendition of early track ‘Fuckabout‘. The fans were more than happy to engage in a singalong and it made for a special ending to the grand re-opening.