A joint headline gig consisting of two disperate bands who have ridden the zeitgeist all the way to the NME’s hearts. Which one was best? You decide…

Date: November 29, 2013

Venue: Rock City

This gig is billed as Drenge and Peace, not Peace with support from Drenge, due largely to the fact that both are of equal stature.

Drenge open the double-header with their ear-threatening chugging, sludgy noise-rock.

Shards of sonic shrapnel explode from just a guitar and drumkit, a drumkit that gets a proper spanking, and a guitar that gets throttled to death.

The ginormous riffs would make Ledd Zeppelin weep in envy. Not bad for two young siblings from the craggy backwaters of Derbyshire’s sleepy Castleton.

Imagine The Black Keys without the feral Americana; imagine the White Stripes off their heads on unknown substances. Imagine, if you can, two brothers who turn the volume to 11 and make one unholy racket.

They play the majority of their debut record – a snarling beast of an album which transcends into devilish realms when performed live.

Each track is a tumultuous din, augmented by some very familiar rock ‘n’ roll shape-pulling and gurnage, with guitarist and shrill-maker Eoin Loveless covering every rock posture cliche.

They depart, just as our heads were about to lose their ears.

And so to the second headliners. Peace (pictured) are a five-piece of androgynous pin-ups from Worcester via Birmingham. They belong to the same B-Town scene (basically a term for Brummie-ish bands) that Swim Deep belong to. In fact, close your eyes, and songs like Lovesick and Wraith could be Swim Deep, mining from the archives of bands like Ride, The Charlatans and even early Blur to concoct a sound akin to surf-pop dreamers, The Drums.

They are known for their hi-energy live performances, brimming with zeal and bouncing with an unmitigated ebullience.

Toxic, an album track, is perhaps one of their best songs; an energised rabble-rouser that should be gracing Single of the Year lists not languishing midway through an album.

In the encore, California Daze is awash with shoegazing, stoner vibes as seismic glacial guitar mastery combines with a snaky bassline.

These two bands are worlds apart. But equal in brilliance.


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