Returning to the Governor Hindmarsh to launch their latest record Feelin’ Kinda Free, The Drones kicked off their tour in spectacular fashion.
Taking the stage without a word, the band’s five members tore into a wall of feedback and pedal noise before flying head first into new album opener Private Execution, setting an early precedent for what was to come.
The setlist for the night was littered with a few of the more raucous and unrelenting tracks from the band’s imposing back catalogue, but the night was dedicated to unleashing the live energy of their latest release. ‘Nothing like a live debut’ quipped guitarist Dan Luscombe, before launching into the current ‘single’ Boredom, which proved to be one of the nights high-energy highlights, with bassist Fiona Kitschin sounding louder and more blown out than ever.
After a raw and extra heavy version of Here Come the Lies favourite Six Ways to Sunday, the band was joined on stage by members of support act for the night, Harmony. This was The Drones at their most powerful and most mature, taking the albums centrepiece, To Think That I Once Loved You, to dizzying heights, with the girls remaining on stage for bass-driven epic of political complacency, Then They Came for Me.
The band also treated older fans with a particularly unhinged version of Gala Mill opener Jezebel, which saw reappointed drummer Christian Strybosch look as though he’d never stepped out of the band.
They closed the set with the anti-humanist Shut Down SETI, ending the shoegazey outro with a loop of feedback before returning for an encore to a rousing reception. ‘Here’s one we don’t play very often’ says Gareth, before a perfect, if not more intense take on Havilah’s I Am The Supercargo. Closing the night properly with a particularly unsettling version of Kev Carmody’s River of Tears, the band could not have pushed the energy levels any higher.
The Drones live have consistently eclipsed expectations and this show was no exception, showing a band at their most liberated and most accomplished.
By Riley O’Keeffe