We were told before this gig that The Drones are not like other bands, and we can assuredly agree after Friday night. The Drones are outsiders, looking back on the world with songs of scorn and satire that resonated with us. As part of their ‘Feelin Kinda Free’ album launch, the Drones' unholy mixture of wailing guitars and experimental riffs graced the Gov’s chambers.
Fronted by the charismatic Gareth Liddiard, the Drones gave everything they had on Friday to a crowd bristling with familiar faces of Adelaide’s various bands and talent. The likes of Bad//Dreems, Horror My Friend and many more all flocked to catch the stalwarts of Australian rock. Opening with the nihilistic anthem Private Execution, the group screeched into their set with full attack. Embracing death, Private Execution's heavy bass line and shrieking melody was intense. As the night continued, Gareth’s ragged and raw vocals led perhaps what was the tightest band we’ve ever seen, especially considering the complexities present in their music.
The infamous Taman Shud attracted media speculation from columnist Andrew Bolt recently, due to his call out in the lyrics. This track takes aim at many of Australia’s more hypocritical traditions and elements of culture, with lyrics such as “I don’t give a fuck about fuck off we’re full”. The paranoid, almost experimental basis for this song was masterful in its timing and expression of anger, amounting to a clear crowd favourite. Later the choral track To Think That I Once Loved You had a group of singers join the group onstage to perform a heartfelt song of lost love. Each of the songs performed by the Drones lasted in excess of five minutes, with some ballads seeming to go forever, in the best way possible. Notably Shark Fin Blues wasn't played, despite perhaps being one of the Drones' best known songs, and their most popular on Spotify.
I Sea Seaweed, taken from the group's 2013 release of the same name was also extremely dramatic; a pounding and cathartic chorus allowing the group to showcase their investment in the song. Lastly an encore performance of the Kev Carmody song River of Tears sealed what was a moving show, with punters only calling for more.
It's hard to do the Drones justice in just one article. Their back catalogue of releases dating back to 2002 (including 7 albums) could not be given the respect they deserve if we were to only mention the latest ‘Feelin' Kinda Free’ release from the group. The band could only make it through 10 or so of their songs on Friday, so we highly encourage you to check out their full library of music. Their influence and presence in the Australian rock scene has only been further demonstrated by their latest release.
The poignant, untraditional and moreover awe inspiring music made by The Drones is definitely welcome back in Adelaide as soon as possible. Thanks guys!
For more photos head to our GALLERIES.