Live Review: Nantes, Service Bells, The Persian Drugs

21 April 2015 | 10:00 am | Hattie O’Donnell

"Moments where the duo of David Rogers and Josiah Eastwood sang together were raw in a good way"

The night began with The Persian Drugs, an eclectic, noisy and slightly late start from this seven-piece self-described “tambourine boogie-band” who like beers. And like beers they definitely did, going so far as to write a song about bevvies and mentioning drinks (and asking the crowd for drugs) between songs. While their style was pretty liberal regards the use of percussion (see above re: tambourines), they brought a big sound to the tiny stage with two frontwomen. 

The second band, Service Bells, were slightly darker, mixing heavy guitar and super tight drums while Fraser J Harvey channelled Matt Bellamy pretty hard. Like a modern-day mash-up of Thin Lizzy and The National, Service Bells sounded a bit confused, though that may have been the heavy-handed audio in the venue, featuring booming vocals and face-shattering feedback (not in a good way). Service Bells probably weren’t the greatest choice for the middle act, and their stage banter was pretty lacking (the one quip they had about contraceptive merch was thankfully a fib – there were no diaphragms to be seen at the merch desk, only the standard vinyl and T-shirts).

After a long wait Nantes finally took the stage, launching into their new six track mini-album, Limbo. The new material is of the same ilk as tracks like 2011’s Fly and Charlie – boasting that signature indie-rock snare, though with fuller guitar moments and larger, more rallying sound. The vocals were not as on point as they could have been, though moments where the duo of David Rogers and Josiah Eastwood sang together were raw in a good way, and the crowd was eager to hear Nantes do their thing having waited for so long.