Gig review: The Drink at Headrow House, Leeds

It's worth taking a sip of The Drink but chances are the London trio won't tantalize the taste buds for too long.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 1:08 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 1:14 pm
The Drink

The self-described ‘odd, dark folk-popsters’ create angular songs that contort around Dearbhla Minogue’s intricate but clean fingerpicked guitar lines. This broadly locates them within the foothills of math rock but they draw on a wider set of influences to make them less easy to categorise.

‘Roller’, for instance, could be The Breeders with spikier guitars while ‘You Won’t Come Back’ and ‘I Can’t Sleep’ introduce a Blondie-esque disco thrum. ‘Playground’, meanwhile, recalls the calypso drenched beats of Vampire Weekend.

The groove to these tracks is locked down by David Stewart’s rubber band bass lines and Daniel Fordham’s solid drumming, with Minogue’s blank delivery bouncing gymnastically across her range. Frustratingly low in the mix, her unique approach to melody is undersold across these 13 tracks.

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It’s possible that, because of these vocal mumblings, the strongest moments of the set are those where she remains silent and lets the repetitive beats do the talking. ‘The Coming Rain’ perfects this approach, being a Cate Le Bon style modern psych-rock track that has the audience dancing. ”We’re too uncoordinated to dance and play at the same time,” laments Minogue as she watches the enthusiastic foot shuffling.

These grooves and the disparate range of influences should prove to be an irresistible combination. Strangely, however, many of the songs end up sounding remarkably similar and despite the good time vibe the band are forgotten almost as soon as they leave the stage.