Live Review: October Drift – London

October Drift

The Old Blue Last, London, 18th February 2020

Words by Nick Jacques

Photos by Amy Butcher

On a dark miserable night in East London, indie-rock hopefuls October Drift played to a packed venue at the Shoreditch haunt Old Blue Last and there was a big sense of anticipation that evidently hung in the air. Those who know October Drift will be aware of the fearsome live reputation they have carved out for themselves, most of it on a word-of-mouth basis, which is encouraging to hear in this modern day and age. Their debut album Forever Whatever was released back in January to glowing reviews and their live repertoire is all the better for it.

October Drift 1Before they graced the stage with their presence, the iconic dance track Born Slippy by Underworld blasted out from the PA system and momentarily I thought I was elsewhere enjoying a rave or something. Other punters were enjoying it too but gave off the air that they were too shy to express themselves about this realisation before re-setting their instincts to focus on the October Drift gig instead.

Once October Drift emerged – it was clear they were pumped for the occasion and literally threw themselves into the set from the off! Guitar aerial assaults smothered all of us and pulled us in with their heaving brand of stadium sized choruses. They were putting so much effort into their set and I thought the wheels of this impassioned set might come off sooner than expected but with a sturdy backbone provided by their drummer and the yearning expressions from their singer – this provided the glue for the band that kept them in check.

The material off their debut album is big and bold and I thought that it won’t be long before they move onto bigger venues – bearing in mind that they have previously had the experience of playing to bigger audiences and venues after they supported Editors and played the festival circuit at places like Reading.  I could feel the foundations shaking with the amount of feedback I was getting!

October Drift have garnered a reputation for putting on potent and passionate live sets and that reputation is still very much intact. Part of their sets always involves their singer wanting to get involved with the crowd and duly obliged in this again by climbing up a pillar near the bar and showering us with his shoegazey-crooning vocals for the umpteenth time, which was pleasing to behold.

October Drift 2For me, the highlights included their latest single Oh The Silence – the chorus resonated so strongly with the crowd – a definite moment and another was the title track for their album Forever Whatever with its catchy anthemic chorus.

At present, there appears to be no stopping October Drift and their ascendency to be the darlings of shoegaze indie-rock and with time and more live tours, who’s to say they won’t gain this much reputable crown?

Expect them and their high energy set to roll into a festival near you this coming summer!

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