Returning to the UK to promote their latest album, On Desire, Drowners brought an upbeat set of catchy, fast-paced indie rock to the Leadmill.

The American-Welsh band formed in 2011, fronted by former model Matt Hitt. Drowners make short catchy songs with the band’s influences hinted at through their name (taken from Suede’s 1992 debut single ‘The Drowners’).

Support came from self-described dirt pop band Critics, who stormed the stage much to the crowds delight with an upbeat set, however the songs themselves left much to be desired. Followed by Scarlet Rascal, a promising Bristol based band, who played a strong set of gloomy post-rock tracks.

Drowners took to the stage with a fierce energy, opening with the lead single of their new album ‘Cruel Ways’, receiving a warm reaction from the primarily teenage crowd.

Playing a mixture of new tracks, ‘Another Go’ ‘Pick Up The Pace’, alongside hits from their 2014 self-titled debut – ‘Long Hair’ ‘Watch You Change’ – the energetic 50-minute set proved to be a success with those in attendance.

Half way through guitarist Jack Ridley jokingly requested the crowd to flip the camera off while he took a photo for his mother back home which fans were more than happy to do.

While the newer songs are by no means disliked, it is clear that the older tracks are popular with fans, with ‘Unzip Your Harrington’ seeing fans passionately singing the lyrics while swaying along to the slow burning track. Later on the poppy opening chords to ‘Luv, Hold Me Down’ saw fans climb onto each other’s shoulders, clearly enjoying themselves.

While Drowners may not be well known outside the indie rock scene and their songs reflecting on love and relationships may not be future classics, none of this clearly seemed to matter to the fans crowded around the Leadmill’s steel stage. As the band closed with a hard rocking performance of ‘Bar Chat’ the lively reaction proved that Drowners are more than capable at putting on an energetic show for those invested in upbeat indie.

A fun, energetic performance for fans of poppy indie rock.

[3star]

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