The Drums at Koko
Whenever there’s too much hype around a band, it seems prudent to be somewhat sceptical. Back in 2009, besides the catchy nature of their melodic tunes, it was unclear if this new Brooklyn band would stick around. However, with three solid albums out and a consistently brilliant set of performances, The Drums have proved that sometimes it’s not such a bad idea to believe the hype. Their latest gig at Koko in Camden was no exception to this legacy.
Johnny and Jacob claim the stage a few minutes past nine, soothing the fans from a rabid expectation. Bell Laboratories opens the set to a cheering audience; Me and the Moon unleashes a series of tunes from their first two albums, and the crowd goes ecstatic. Money, Best Friend, Book of Revelations: they all blur into the same melodic trance in the fervent Koko atmosphere, where the sound is so loud that it is hard to hear oneself singing.
“Are you having fun?” Pierce asks fittingly after a euphoric delivery of I Need Fun in My Life. He has to be one of the best frontmen around. Rarely have the histrionic movements of an American in a glitter shirt been so honest, passionate, and – for lack of a better word – cool. Surrounded by masks and dramatic red walls, the venue proves particularly suitable for this strangely theatrical performance. But the result is similar to that of the songs he sings, which are above all really sweet and endearing.
Although the set is mostly older material, songs from Encyclopedia are received unusually well by an audience that doesn’t stop slamming and dancing. Their new album might have its ups and downs, but their performance is still cohesive and convincing. With an aptitude for innovation, they’ve reached the point where they look and sound more like The Drums every time.
The show ends with Forever and Ever Amen, Let’s Go Surfing and Down by the Water, which, with their distinctive up-tempo kick drums and infectious melodic lines, still stand as strikes of pop genius. Half surf, half indie-rock, with a dancey spine, this is the kind of band that doesn’t skimp on what they can offer to the fans. Over a lustrum on the run, they continue to prove hype-haters wrong. Judging from last night, London’s consensus seems to be “keep the hype coming”. It has indeed proven to be quite fun.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about The Drums visit here.