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The Drones Live in Madrid The Drones Live
  • Live in Madrid (dvd)-1 Live in Madrid (dvd)-2
    DVD MRDVD-004
    6,00€ 4,00€ buy

Not to be confused with the band that came from Manchester, England in 1977, these folks hail from Australia. The name doesn’t give much away or hint at really what they might sound like or what they might be capable of. It’s pretty understated whereas an album title, such as “Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By” most definitely is not. My favourite description of what a “Drone” is that it’s “a component of the bagpipe. Tuned to produce a continuous tone rather than any “low dull sound”. Thrill as they weave an unusual sonic tapestry which I doubt Is the same on any two consecutive nights. Is there such a thing as Australasiacana? Well the way they marinade country music shards in a punked blues suggests there just me be. A new musical form in gestation. First time I ever heard “Shark Fin Blues”, I thought it sounded like Steve Earle fronting The Scientists. On here, it’s even crazier than that might suggest. Sounds like a heckuva way to have spent a Tuesday night.

I’m inclined to mention Crazy Horse here too because this particular evening down at the Ol’ Gruta 77, there’s definitely something psychedelic going on. Look at that cover, it’s like a lysergic take on Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator. A two-headed, twisted illustration of what might be in store for you if you pop this document disc into the dvd drawer.

I’ve come across comparisons to The Bad Seeds and that kind of dark cabaret hooch. Whilst perhaps relevant, The Drones play a more open-ended form of something that might owe something to the blues in terms of spirit but sounds little like it in the flesh. It’s much more full-bodied and bloody minded than anything I ever heard by The Birthday Party. I never ever “got” those records, they didn’t strike me a visceral but this does. There’s a seemingly improvised swing to it all that’s inverse to any jazz noodling. The light and shade is stark. Like David Lynch filming in digital video only with sound. By the time it makes it to your ears, the effect may be grainy but it’s all the more potent. Their Frankenstein’s monster of disparate musical and atmospheric forms is doubtless why they’ve been amassing such a following. Green on Red and The Gun Club are other names I’m inclined to through into the mix as flavour but with that special antipodean afterburn.

Once you acquire the taste for such an elixir, then addiction follows pretty swift on them coattails. This music is not trussed up in any stylised packaging. They create as it falls, like a blacksmith might on his forge and we’re not always clear on where we might end up. It’s not pretty sometimes but the best things hit you like that. Like you’ve been run into by a truck. Ebbing, flowing, brooding and delivering that all important throbbing pummel.

So close the blinds and join The Drones as they bring the wrath of the gods down on the unsuspecting audience. A set of unprecedented sturm’n’twang, that just keeps on coming. Repeated views will unearth all type of treasures and prepare you a bout with the living, breathing real mccoy. This is merely a template irrespective of the considerable temperature of the packed heat.