I’ve written about The Drones so much over the last six months it feels a bit redundant to once again review another ferocious Drones gig. But I’m going to anyway. The Drones once again took to the stage at the Metro last night and proceeded to do irreversible ear damage to anyone without earplugs.
Opening with a trio of songs off last year’s Havilah, the band came out firing on all cylinders. While many cite the magnificent Shark Fin Blues as the band’s finest moment, I think last night’s performance of Nail It Down may have changed a lot of minds. The way the song is teased out in its live incarnation is brilliant.
To temper the heaviness of the opening portion of the set, Your Acting’s Like The End Of The World was welcomed as a bit of a toe-tapping, sing-along. While this is not something you readily associate with The Drones, it is another weapon in their frighteningly well-stocked arsenal. Luck In Odd Numbers and Shark Fin Blues followed before the band delved back into their slightly more obscure catalogue with a couple songs off The Miller’s Daughter to end the set.
Personally, it was these final two songs of the set, She Had An Abortion That She Made Me Pay For and The Miller’s Daughter, that were the highlights. Both were delivered with a ferocity seldom seen at rock gigs. Gareth Liddiard’s vocals on both were even more venomous than normal and both Gareth and Dan Luscombe abused the hell out of their guitars as the set drew to a raucous close.
Gareth and drummer Mike Noga then returned to the stage for a harrowing take of Gala Mill’s convict narrative Sixteen Straws. Featuring just Gareth on acoustic guitar and Mike on harmonica, the song, as it always does, silenced the crowd as the tale unfolded. It was a magnificent performance. The rest of the band then returned for a cover of (support act) Kev Carmody’s River of Tears which featured on last year’s Cannot Buy My Soul compilation. The song slowly built from Gareth’s guitar and vocals to include the rest of the band and it drew to a powerful close which bled directly into the night’s final song, I Don’t Ever Want To Change.
As the band left the stage and the feedback faded away I once again felt like I’d just watched one of the finest live bands around. Make sure you check them out while you can.
Nail It Down
Six Ways To Sunday
Your Acting’s Like The End of The World
Luck In Odd Numbers
Shark Fin Blues
She Had An Abortion That She Made Me Pay For
The Miller’s Daughter
River Of Tears
I Don’t Ever Want To Change
While I missed Witch Hats’ support slot I was lucky enough to catch Kev Carmody’s set. The legendary songwriter told stories, sang songs, and generally endeared himself to the crowd over the course of his all too short set. I was totally new to Carmody before last night (was aware of him but hadn’t actually heard him) but even I was singing along to From Little Things Big Things Grow with the rest of the audience.
All in all a great gig. A few of my photos up here.
If you want to check out Gareth Liddiard solo, he’s playing the Annandale on May 10 along with Jed Kurzel of The Mess Hall and others.