The Drop won’t allow you to take drinks from the main bar downstairs. I have to crash a pint of Harvey’s Sussex just to get to see the bands. The bar in the basement only serves Red Stripe.
I remain teetotal for the rest of the night. But apart from the abysmal bar arrangements The Drop is the perfect venue to see Dead Meadow. It’s a small shoebox of a basement and everyone’s crammed in.
Apparently Dead Meadow are playing with their original drummer on this tour and only playing material from their first two LPs. It kind of makes sense as I’m only familiar with their albums from Shivering King... onwards.
But the restriction is actually a blessing as their earlier records are definitely my favourites. Channelling more strongly that vibe of Sabbath obsessed Hells Angels who’ve just pulled off the highway to set up and blast out their cosmic rock to the stars.
Their set is unhurried, kick-backed and relaxed riffage where there’s always time for a lengthily warped blues solo. The low end riffing, hypnotises, inducing eyes shut, head-nodding reveries. Time seems to stand still whilst their playing. Partly it’s hypnotising low, repeating riffs, but also it’s the fact that Dead Meadow are fine exponents of a now ancient rock sub-genre. They are worthy of their forefathers, and will no doubt begat an inheritance which others will duly honour.
Preferred drink: Sussex Best Bitter