Driver Drive Faster


You hear a buzz about a local band, there are a few tunes knocking around on the interweb and you like what you hear. You go to their album launch in a hidden back street venue/art gallery and you buy the album from the merch stall… then you have trouble forcing yourself to review the gig because the album has you completely captivated.

Yes, the night suffered from a little feedback, but we shouldn’t make an issue of it. The venue looks like a sixth form common room that’s just staged an indoor sports day; bunting hangs above the stage area that is lit mainly by a large table lamp with iconic 60’s lampshade and a rotating colourful liquid projection on the back wall.

Plank! Begin shortly after I arrive, people shuffle tentatively away from the bar as the three-piece set about expanding our minds with some experimental rock. The drummer chugs out the beat with his bassist sidekick as the lead singer adds the fiddly math bits with either guitar or keys. He flashes a nervous grin to the audience, mid-tune, but a between songs version of ‘No Woman No Cry’ comically ends with a deliberate duff note that cuts the tension. The lack of a singer forces me to add my own lyrics… largely taken from ‘Born To Be Wild’ by Steppenwolf.

While waiting for the next band, the DJ flows through a cheeky and soulful David Holmes kind of set, maintaining the friendly and fun loving atmosphere. People start to creep/dance towards the stage in anticipation.

The crowd of friends, trendies, art school tutors and possibly proud parents, largely already know the words. I somewhat get the feeling I’m crashing a party, but no one seems to mind. Driver Drive Faster‘s intro tune is mellow, Peet’s piano is very noticeable and cuts through perfectly, giving their indie pop sound a fresh twist.

Dylan Giles

‘The Conversation’ increases the tempo but it’s not until the chorus of single ‘They May Talk’ that a true impact is made… but what an impact. The hairs on the back of the neck stand up and any sound issues that they are experiencing can be forgiven thanks to that moment alone. ‘Don’t Fall Apart’ is an incredibly beautiful and spellbinding tune. Anyone familiar with Avi Buffalo would relate.

A bassline that sounds as though borrowed from Blondie is added into the mix, the strength of the album is apparent with multiple possible singles and memorable riff’s. ‘It’s All Over It’s Everywhere’ is a summer anthem waiting to happen and ‘Open House’ explores what John Lennon might’ve sounded like with Pink Floyd.

A drunken compere interrupts the applause to tell us the album is now available, in vinyl as well… copies of which were in France that very morning. He then hands back to the band for a tune whose name I didn’t catch, which breaks down into a jam, leaving me wishing they’d bring the verse back for us to enjoy once more.

The compere returns to induce further rounds of applause and remind us of those French LP’s and thank people and make us applaud again… before the sound engineer comically cuts his microphone off.

Peter Rea

I like to go see fresh new music at Manchester's superb selection of smaller venues, and then share my enthusiasm.