The Icarus Line @ The Hope, Brighton 02/11/13

Posted: 04/11/2013 in Live Review
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The Icarus Line – The Hope, Brighton 02/11/13

It’s Saturday Night, the storms we were promised haven’t arrived and one of the most quietly notorious bands of the 00s is due on stage.  Where the hell is everyone?  If there was a local band playing they’d probably be quite happy with this crowd but for The Icarus Line???  Should be rammed.

It’s probably the most laborious rock ‘n’ roll cliché there is, and it was almost certainly just a spilled drink; but honestly, the room started smelling pungently of Jack Daniels when Bad For Lazarus came on.  It is fitting however as they really are very rock ‘n’ roll in every way it should be: tight but chaotic, looking like a gang, and (judging my how much uncalculated swinging about is going on) they are clearly unafraid of hurting their gear, themselves or each other.

They have an uncanny knack for using some of rock’s less cool tropes but making them sound amazing.  There’s veneer of camp-glam draped over everything and they somehow even make cock-rock sound valid, in a song that must surely be called ‘We get It On’?

Great Saturday night entertainment.  More bands should have bonkers cabaret organ, take note.

If you really get down to it, all rock music is just the blues – a fact that kind of makes a mockery of the MOBO awards.  The Icarus Line are obviously a million miles away from being ‘urban’, but what they definitely now are is a blues band.  A feral, psychedelic, drone-obsessed, unbearably tense blues band, but all the insignia is there.

TIL are obviously not a band wanting to rest on their laurels. We get only one song tonight that isn’t from this year’s Slave Vows.  A ballsy move for a band with such an impressive back catalogue.  Do they carry it off?  Just.  They have a formula: segue every song with swathes of feedback or delay > creepy/groovy bassline > story of debauched behaviour > build until you cannot take the strain of it anymore > go absolutely mental > repeat.

There’s so many twists and turns throughout you can hardly believe they play for only 45 minutes.  It’s a powerful performance and exhausting to watch – in a good way.  Safe to assume everyone will sleep well tonight.


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