Dylan Brewerton-Harper reviews one of Glasgow’s fastest rising punk bands, Drop the Baby, as they headline The Garage.
Jumping onto the stage to what can only be described as a fast “donk-ed” remix of the Coronation Street theme tune, I didn’t know exactly what to expect from Glasgow punk rockers, Drop the Baby, at their recent show at the Attic. I soon found out. It was their first show in two years and, for someone who’d never seen them play before, it showed. In front of a fairly mixed crowd of young and old, the four-piece played with an edge and the confidence of a band returning to live music ready to release a pent-up energy that I can only imagine defined their pre-lockdown performances.
It didn’t take long for t-shirts to start flying, owing partly to the sweltering heat in the room, but mainly to the raw fire of the music. Starting out of high school in 2017, the connection and bond between each bandmate was evident as they played songs both recognisable from their releases online and some new material. As I listened, I found it hard to define their music – a sound that traversed the traditional boundaries of punk, post-punk and grunge. When chatting to bassist and “designated Buckfast drinker” Tom Rowan after the show, he spoke of the pigeon-holing that many of the new wave of guitar bands face when it comes to genre. Citing bands such as black midi, Black Country, New Road and others as contemporaries they take inspiration from, he hailed both the burgeoning Glasgow and Paisley guitar scene and the large uptake in new guitar music that is flourishing in the UK and Ireland. One only has to look at the success of bands such as shame, Slaves, Fontaines D.C., and IDLES – all taking wildly different approaches to the genre – to see where Drop the Baby could go on their musical journey.
Although their set was relatively short, the lively crowd lapped up the energy fed to them by the band’s loud, unabashed music. Whilst delivering their own unique sound, I couldn’t help but feel that Drop the Baby was honouring the lineage of Britain’s punk history, evoking the sound of bands such as The Ruts, The Fall, and The Damned. With new music coming in the next few months, and having played most of Glasgow’s venues, surely the only way is up for a band at the forefront of a new generation of the city’s musical scene. In the same way that punk defined an era of austerity, crises and lost hope for young Britons in the 1970s, this new generation of loud, uncompromising guitar bands can define this gloomily similar era. Drop the Baby are very much marking their place at the heart of that scene and, if they continue to be as good as they were at The Garage, we’ll all be the better for it.