The Drums delight the Roundhouse with great songs and a special guest
It was the summer of 2010 when The Drums abruptly entered the indie scene with their eponymous debut album. The release of the record was the peak of several months of buzz and hype during which the New York surf-rockers also caught the attention of the band that inspired them the most: The Smiths.
Two years after The Drums lost guitarist Adam Kessler and faced the difficulties of their second album, the reactions of the public and critics have been prudent – especially that of their main supporter, NME – and a little disappointed.
Portamento, their second effort, is less immediately likeable, but in the long run it grows on you. The same goes for their live performance: it was very good last December at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, but this time at the Roundhouse, it was truly impressive.
The set kicked off with the Smithesque (a fitting adjective for most of their songs) What You Were and followed with the great Best Friend. The audience were ready to take on every single note and vocal extravagance delivered by wild frontman Jonathan Pierce. He moved like an 80s Morrissey and it really worked.
The band continued their set with Me and the Moon – where the typical Strokes guitar solo touch is more than evident (and appreciated) – followed by the sweet mid-tempo Book of Stories and the indie earworm Money.
Halfway through the performance, everyone was wondering whether they would play their biggest hit Let’s Go Surfing, mysteriously taken off the setlist during the last six months.
Next was the impressive How It Ended, an explosion of energy. However, before the encore, the biggest surprise of the evening took place: Culture Club star Boy George joined the band onstage. Pierce and George shared the vocal duties on the oblique If He Likes It Let Him Do It and the legendary Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. The combination of sounds and melodies delighted the public.
The curtain dropped and the excitement was palpable: yes, the band finally decided to play Let’s Go Surfing and please their fans, who jumped ecstatically all over the dancefloor.
The set-closer, the sophisticated Searching for Heaven, rounded off a great evening.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor