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  • Writer's pictureEllie Winter

October Drift: The Bullingdon, Oxford

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Rating: ★★★★

Meet Chris, Kiran, Dan and Alex: the fiery new four-piece searing their way into the UK rock scene. Together as October Drift, they’re setting out to win our hearts with relentless live show regimes, blitzing through countless UK club venues as we speak. Your regular new band would probably opt for a more routine social media path to publicity, but then again there’s nothing routine about these lads.

Their distinctive sound is built from the driving power of anthemic melodies, compelling beats and swirling guitar distortion. Think somewhere between The Smashing Pumpkins’ shoegazing and The National’s ruminating, and you’re halfway there. Frontman Kiran Roy’s soft-edged vocals are delivered with utter commitment, and soar within the expanses of deep, dark velvety rock. Airy but substantial, there’s something of both Lou Reed and Fred Macpherson (minus the posing) in his sound. Tracks Robots and Losing My Touch (out today, 25th March) epitomise the dark sided brilliance of the band’s energy. Somerset’s answers to Stephen Chbosky’s ‘tunnel song’ (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), they conjure up exhilarating night drives down empty roads, headlamps whipping past to the tenacious beat.

October Drift: Robots (Official Video, 2015)

Hurtling into Oxford, October Drift’s pressure wave somewhat blindsided the Bullingdon onlookers out to meet them. As a new band used to uncertainty, they saw our expectations and raised them by ten: welcome to our game, now watch us own it. The audience taken aback, Roy brought himself forwards. Literally. With the energy surge of the first chorus, he leapt off stage, mic stand in tow. Alongside his equally devoted band mates, he ran over musical landscapes lit up with fervour, falling at the feet of stunned spectators, and staring down earnestly into their eyes from on top of the bar. Soon it was the crowd’s conservatism that felt out of place.

The band’s formidable blend of confidence and charisma would soften even the toughest of crowds. Look harder at the unshakeable persona however and you see it’s constructed from deep-set trepidation. They’re bringing their sound into the world and desperately want it to listen. As they journeyed into the unknown Roy offered us the wheel with sincerity, confessing ‘I want to be on your side’. Their resolute game face might be unmasked, what is consistently genuine is the palpable, deep-set belief in what they’re doing.

October Drift: Losing My Touch (Official Video, 2016)

October Drift play for the stage they deserve. Transfer last night’s show into a festival tent swarming with enamoured crowds, and it would be a perfect fit. With gallons of talent, energy, and passion the only thing missing from a damn good formula is the fans, but it doesn’t look like that will be an issue for long. Remember their name, you’re bound to hear it again soon. Every gig propels October Drift further into the darkness beyond the headlights, speeding flat out into a future of endless possibilities. It could be one mighty photo finish. Go get it lads.

Check out our interview with band frontman Kiran Roy here.

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