Photography: Michelle Roberts
EVOL @ Invisible Wind Factory 25/4/18

The stage is bathed in red light with beams of white light frantically flickering over the stage on the opening night of DRENGE’s Grand Reopening tour, which they’ve chosen to kick off in Liverpool. As well debuting songs from their upcoming third album, tonight also marks the beginning of their first UK headline tour in three years, so the fans waiting inside are desperate to hear new music from the Loveless brothers, Eoin and Rory.

After leaving us waiting, Drenge finally arrive onstage decked out in blue denim boiler suits and ceremonially cut a ribbon to signal the beginning of the tour. After thanking the fans for their enduring support, they launch into new track Bonfire, which revolves around the refrain “You don’t have to work if you don’t want to”, addressing the kind of societal expectations of what you’re supposed to do with your life that ring true with much of their crowd of millennials and Generation Z-ers.

Fan favourites from their second album Undertowgo off with the biggest roars: the biggest singalong of the evening is reserved for We Can Do What We Want, and the painfully catchy Never Awakecauses the stage lighting to switch to a vivid green as Eoin repeatedly sings “It’s just so hard to talk to you, because you’re never awake”. Another new track which stands out is Fades To Black, with its scathing lyrics “Everything you touch fades to black” and “You’re just a waste of time”.

The new material fits in seamlessly alongside Drenge’s familiar classics, but also stands out in terms of their sharper lyrical content and social commentary. The band thank the city of Liverpool for being “so welcoming and lovely” and bound offstage, before Eoin returns to the stage alone for an encore, with an acoustic guitar in hand. He daringly jumps offstage and sits in the middle of the crowd and proceeds to shush everyone until the crowd is almost silent. He then starts to sing Fuckaboutwhile surrounded by his adoring, sweaty masses, as everyone sings along while huddling in closer.

Drenge are back.

Conor Giblin

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