Drowners – The Cookie, Leicester, 12/10/2016

I love The Cookie, it’s one of the best little venues in the country – friendly, welcoming, compact, clued up, and with a reputation of attracting the cream of music’s rising talent, none more so than Drowners, back in Leicester with a second album On Desire for our listening pleasure. Now with extra keyboard player and a new drummer on board, this beefed up version of the band have enough fuel in the tank to drive to Venus and back. I haven’t heard pure crafted pop songs like this since the heyday of The Undertones and now they have two albums choc full of ‘em from which to pick the cherries.

Aided tonight by, firstly from Milton Keynes, The Critics, who have an EP out on Spotify from the 14th (and well worth a listen judging by their performance here) and Bristol’s Scarlet Rascal, whose intense, psychedelic, driving beat had me hooked from song one. I’d certainly go and see them again; their debut album has been out about a month, I may well invest in it.


What I loved about Drowners was the big smiles and laughter everywhere, and this reflects in their animated antics on stage, especially to the faster songs, certainly no miserable shoegazing from this band. They get the mix right too, as some of the very youngish audience had possibly not been at the Scholar Bar 2 years or so ago to witness tracks from the brilliant debut album. In fact I’m sure some of them would not have been allowed out by their parents 2 years ago…

I would not be surprised to see them playing the big venues in a couple of years, where the sight of them cheerfully taping their own guitar leads to the stage floor will be a casualty of deserved success. ‘Pick Up The Pace‘ is as good a song as I’ve heard from any band ever. It’s an ironic title from them, as pace is pretty well picked up all night. The old favourites are still here such as the obligatory ‘Long Hair‘, ‘Watch You Change‘ and, the night’s set closer, the quicksilver ‘Bar Chat’ along with newer pearls like the impressive opener of both the new album and tonight’s show, ‘Troublemaker‘. ‘Cruel Ways‘, ‘Human Remains‘ and ‘Conversations with Myself‘, well, they’re more catchy than a cold on your holidays. Behind those smiles though lay a razor-sharp nous, a lean and hungry beast, ready to pounce once you’re laired .

If, like me you like ballsy pop, or indeed a good toe tapper, then I would advise that you go down to your local record store and ask the nice man or lady behind the counter to sell you both Drowners albums forthwith, or if not, for Thwith, then for yourself, as the toe tappability levels here are endless. Basically what your ears are there for.

Photo credit: Paul Reno.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.