24th August | The Lanes

Formed in Leeds in 2017, Drahla quickly established a fierce reputation behind a series of raw early EPs. Their wiry post-punk sound garnered them a strong following, particularly here in Bristol, where folks have a fine ear for such things. With their debut LP, Useless Coordinates, which was released earlier this year, the band continued with the same approach, only with one extra element – a saxophone. The sax may not have seemed like an obvious ally to the Drahla sound, but the way Chris Duffin plays it – alarming, jittery – it actually fits perfectly. On the road, the band have retroactively added sax to their early songs, and it is like it was always supposed to be there, making those tracks sound even better than they did before.

Useless Coordinates is a record that will feature in many ‘best of’ list come the end of the year, and quite rightly so. The lyrics are subtly topical, often appearing as random thoughts knitted together into a poetic patchwork. Luciel Brown’s understated vocals and often toned-down guitar contrast beautifully with the hard, often jarring elements elsewhere, notably Rob Riggs’ bruising basslines, to create a fascinating sound. They have been compared to the likes of Wire and Sonic Youth, but Drahla really are somewhat unique.

This show is free, and Drahla are a band that definitely do their best work in a live setting, so if any of this sounds at all appealing, definitely get down to The Lanes and check them out.

See the video for ‘Stimulus For Living’ here: