The Drums

Is too much hype a good thing? According to the NME The Drums are “New York’s official coolest new band”. Thankfully I had no idea of the hype or the NME statement proclaiming them to be so cool when watching them warm up the Civics crowd prior to the emergence of Florence and her ever-expanding Machine.

The Drums The Drums

Right then; for a band called The Drums they kick their set off predictably with enough with Conor Hanwick giving a gentle bang on the kick drum before the rest of the band burst into song accompanying him. After around five seconds it becomes apparent that predictable The Drums are not. Lead Singer Jonathon Pierce and Guitarist Jacob Graham dance and move in a way not seen since Ian Curtis left the stage for good. Whereas Curtis gave the impression of being hypnotized by the music, Jonathon and Jacob slither and sashay in a similar way a dancing extra might move in a soft mint advert. It’s Jacob who forces you to watch and smile more. Whereas Jonathon holds the mic stand in a similar way a male flamenco dancer might hold and move his partner, watching Jacob dance with his guitar is pure theatre. His dance act takes on an entire new show when giving the most savage dynamic live Tambourine playing spectacle ever seen. To see Jacob in all his glory you might want to take a peek at I Felt Stupid @ Iceland Airwaves 2009.

The Drums The Drums

Unfortunately the sheer energy of 50% of the band makes them appear slightly disjointed. On the left of stage you have the manic exaggerated movements of Jonathon and Jacob whereas on the right side you have the almost motionless Adam Kessler. It’s like watching two Duracell Bunnies playing alongside two ‘other battery brand’ Bunnies.

The Drums

As for the music The Drums are a Pop band pure and simple, not in the same vain as an attractive manufactured boy band – they do have far more credibility than that. Simple Pop songs are what they write and what they play although I didn’t find their music particularly interesting. In my mind pop music needs to be catchy, there should to be a memorable hook remembered several weeks later. Aside from the whistling on ‘Let’s go surfing’ I found most of the songs unremarkable and easily forgettable.

The Drums

Fortunately the Pros just about outweigh the Cons. They’re definitely an interesting and visually stimulating band to watch, and the music they play isn’t bad at all. Unfortunately this time next week I won’t remember a single song from their set.

The Drums The Drums

You can’t really blame a band for the hype that’s bestowed upon them. Had I bought into the hype prior to the gig I would have been mightily disappointed. As it happens, I just found myself mightily amused by The Drums on stage antics and waited patiently for the emergence of headline act – Florence and the might of her 11 strong Machine.

Which you can read more about here…

The Drums

Words by Lee Hathaway
Photos by Wayne Fox, email me

One Response to “The Drums @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK – 10 May 2010”

  1. Gig Junkies online for Music Reviews | Band Reviews | Live Music Photography | Interviews | Competitions » Blog Archive » Florence + The Machine @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK – 11th May 2010 Says:

    […] I quite like Florence + the Machine so I was really looking forward to the gig. I didn’t have to wait too long as the band were only 20-25 minutes late coming on and boy was it worth the wait! Florence casually sauntered on stage suggesting a relaxing gig, but I was wrong. Wearing in a black lacy dress over knickers and vest, she kicked off her shoes quite quickly and built up more and more energy with each song. Banging on a drum at her side and jumping around on stage, the audience were soon eating out of her hand. Her interaction with the audience created a really good atmosphere in the hall, which was just the right size, not allowing the intimacy she created to be lost and not letting her powerful voice overwhelm the room. The stage looked fantastic! With an amazing, versatile backdrop covered in William Morris style flower pattern that looked at moments lush and other times harsh, depending on the lighting used. Keeping to a simple colour scheme of purples, reds, white and yellow lights, the whole design looked sophisticated. The backdrop was drawn away during “Cosmic Love” to show twinkling stars and then drawn back for the next song, the brand new “Strangeness and Charm”. Which wasn’t too bad really. There were bird cages all over the stage with light bulbs locked in that would periodically come on, along with the light up harp. The gig began with “Howl” and carried on sedately for a few songs until “Drumming”, when all the stops were pulled out and the “drumming” began in earnest. I have to say that Florence is a natural performer. She has a strong, loud voice that carries these tunes perfectly and far. Reminding me of Stevie Nicks during some songs when she draped black lace over her head, Florence has enough stage presence to cover the lull in good music that happens in any musician’s career. The audience went mad for “You Got the Love” and jumped to her command for “Dog Days are Over”. But “Cosmic Love” was the song that did it for me, looking and sounding fantastic. After an hour it was sadly over apart from a short encore. All in all a really good gig that shows a long career ahead for Florence + the Machine. New York band The Drums have been supporting Florence and The Machine throughout her May 2010 Cosmic Love Tour. Click here to read and see photos from The Drums performance. […]

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