Live Review: Club Drive - Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham 21/03/2017
Club Drive are a four piece pop/funk band from Hertfordshire, who recently toured across England in three main cities; London, Manchester, and the last date on their tour and also the one I caught them at, Birmingham. Supporting Club Drive on this sold out date were 4 piece indie-rock band Idle Frets and 3 piece indie-pop band Idolising Nova.
Idle Frets kicked off the night and brought a lot of energy and fun from the get go. Having never listened to them before, they were a real surprise and presented real emotion through their raspy vocals whilst still remaining upbeat through their melodies. It came as a shock to find out they’ve been around quite a while, I feel like a band with their talent should be a lot bigger and more well known! They almost give me two door cinema club vibes with more edge, which to me, makes them even better and more appealing. They were pretty well received by the crowd, even by those who hadn’t heard of them before, and they took time to talk to the crowd after they performed too. The best track of the night may have actually been their most recent release ‘Glow’ which made me want to sing along the whole time despite not knowing the words at this point, and reminded me of Kings of Leon in a way, with the melodies and raspy vocals used in the verses.
Following on from Idle Frets came Idolising Nova. Drawing in more of a crowd at this point, they brought more poppy vibes compared to Idle Frets, whilst still maintaining the indie vibe of the night. The vocals instantly reminded me of that of Bastille, and then later on the band played a cover of Pompeii, which had the whole room shouting the lyrics and dancing along and brought up the mood of the room. Despite only officially forming last year, the band seem to have come pretty far already with some really well performed tracks that have the potential to hit mainstream radio, as well as appealing to less-mainstream listeners too. Songs like My Dear provide catchy beats that compliment the whole mainstream radio feel. Just like Idle Frets, they interacted with the crowd well and spoke to them in between sets, which I think always adds genuineness to the band and makes them appear more humble and grounded which is always great to see.
Finally Club Drive hit the stage shortly after and by this point, it was difficult to move about the room. The Sunflower Lounge itself is already an intimate space with no barrier, and you feel like you’re practically on the stage when stood at the front. It was a struggle to photograph at the front to say the least! The band performed older tracks such as Dangerous, as well as recently released Spare Time, all of which brought a huge amount of fun and energy to the stage and had the crowd going crazy. Having never really listened to music within this genre, it was a new experience for me to be at a gig like this and I was really pleasantly surprised. This is the sort of music I would be dancing hard to, and reminds me of a mix of Maroon 5 and Don Broco. The only thing that I felt ruined the night slightly were the very few members of the audience who seemed to have had a little too much to drink and were trying to touch some of the band members which felt a little uncomfortable to see, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed all the acts and showed that maybe indie pop-rock isn’t as bad as I thought!
Words and Photography by Hayley Fearnley