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Virtual Trouser tramps to Drenge

By culture editor DJ NRG Raver

Posted August 12, 2013
drenge are ace
Tangled up in blue: Drenge take the stage. © Drenge

Crack open the cans! It's time to go tramping to the music of Drenge.

Welcome once more to the online incarnation of Naked Trouser, Poznań's greatest alternative music night.

Thanks to the wonders of YouTube and the like, you can now enjoy a taste of what you could otherwise expect to hear at a typical Trouser night in the comfort of your very own living room, beach hut or outside cudgie just by clicking on the following links.

Admittedly, a couple might lead you elsewhere, but the rest will take you straight to Tunes City, Arizona.

But you'll just have to find out yourself, won't you?

So whap up the volume and get clicking like a mutterficker, as they might or might not say on the mean streets of Germany.

And after VT's previous tribute to the music of Mrs Thatcher, we this time raise our boaters to a politico from the other side of the false left-right paradigm, the lesser-known figure of Labour MP Tom Watson.

Formerly a member of the Shadow Cabinet of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Watson recently resigned his post, seemingly in protest at his colleagues' poor taste in music.

"All they want to do is talk about Fabian Socialism and listen to stuff like Black Lace and Showaddywaddy," he can be imagined saying.

"They're out of date and out of touch and have no street cred with the kids."

"And it's boring."

"I just wanna go out there and 'ave it," he might easily have added.

Whatever the truth, in his resignation letter he lamented the fact that his party leader wasn't stood in a muddy field at a rock festival, before recommending Drenge as "an awesome band".

And he's got a point, because, as Sid Vicious said of the New York Dolls, they do indeed "make God-awful rock 'n' roll".

In fact, Watson's recommendation may well mark the first time ever a politician has told the truth.

Except, of course, for Richard Nixon's hearfelt declaration that he wasn't as bent as a three bob note.


Consisting of the two Loveless brothers, 22-year-old vocalist Eoin and 20-year-old Rory, Drenge routinely put on a ferocious display of how much rock music two people can make with just an electric guitar and a set of drums in about two-and-a-half minutes flat.

Still new to the scene, though playing regularly at festivals and small venues, such as the New Inn in Tywardreath, near St Austell in Cornwall this coming September 18, the band have a somewhat limited back catalogue as yet.

However, what they have put out, on YouTube and SoundCloud, certainly kicks anus like a mandrill on crack.

And what's more, Drenge have a new self-titled album out on Infectious Records this very month – August 19 to be precise – priced £6.99 on iTunes if you can't be arsed to support your local record shop like you know you should.

So take a tip from Watson and check out Gun Crazy/I Don't Wanna Make Love To You and Necromance Is Dead.

Then, once you've done that, there's Bloodsports, Dogmeat, I Wanna Break You In Half and People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck, all of which have home-made-style videos shot in the steel city of Sheffield and the beautiful countryside of Drenge's native Derbyshire.

That's right.

Unlike so many bands, Drenge don't come from some big city, like London, Liverpool or Manchester, where people aren't forced to make their own entertainment.

And as the vid for Backwaters happily reveals, as well as other traditional countryside pursuits, such as fighting and smashing up cars, people up there like to enjoy a bit of long-range tramping.

Tramping, for all you city slickers with your fancy pants and Filofaxes out there, derives from the term 'a tramp's breakfast', which is defined as "an al-fresco alcoholic treat enjoyed straight from the can or bottle", and involves the consumption of a number of these along the highways, byways, benches, bus shelters and fields to be found in rural areas, such as Derbyshire and the aforementioned Cornwall, the spiritual home of the Rake & Herald.

A few songs as you swig/piss in a hedge can also raise the cheer on a tramp, especially those with improvised tramp-based lyrics.

Babe Babe by Joy & Joyce (Trampy, trampy / Why can't we just tramp together?); Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep by the appropriately-named Middle Of The Road (Woke up this morning and my trampy was gone / Ooh-wee, trampy, trampy, cheap, cheap); and the theme tune to The Flumps (A tramp, a tramp, a trampy, boy / A tramp, a tramp, a trampy, boy) are all good places to start before hitting the real heights of barnyard sophistication with the all-time classic Old MacTrampy Had a Tramp, the lyrics of which I'll leave to you to figure out1.

Clue: The word 'tramp' gets used a lot.

Just make sure you always follow the Tramping Code, though, and bring a spare Barnsley briefcase for your empties.

After all, no one likes a messy bugger in the country and you might even be able to convert those dead cans back into more booze.

So load up your i-Patch, head for the sticks and crack the first one open.

Or I'll resign too.

Chief hack's note: And now, just to make sure you know for certain what DJ NRG Raver's talking about, here's the video for Backwaters, embedded from Noisy's YouTube channel.

Sod it. You might as well as have the vids to Bloodsports, Dogmeat, I Wanna Break You In Half and People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck as well, all of which are embedded from Drenge's YouTube channel. Face it. Drenge are bloody ace. Tywardreath, here we come!

See also Virtual Trouser says coal not dole, posted 3/6/13.

The original version of this article first appeared in Point Blank Poznan. Cheers, Steg. I've got some eggshells and marmalade under the grill if you fancy it.


1) OK. To help you out if you're stuck, here are the lyrics:

Old MacTrampy had a tramp, ee-i-ee-i-o,

And on that tramp he had a tramp, ee-i-e-i-o,

With a tramp, tramp here and a tramp, tramp there,

Here a tramp, there a tramp, everywhere a tramp, tramp,

Old MacTrampy had a tramp, ee-i-e-i-o.

Repeat until unconscious.

This article was first posted on the old R&H 2/8/13

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