The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool
Tuesday 26th February 2013

Iceage burst from the Copenhagen underground back in 2011 on the back of their debut ‘New Brigade’ which was rightly lauded as the sound of new hardcore; within moments Iceage had gone from obscurity to finding themselves staring out from the newsstands of an appreciative music media across both Europe and the USA.

Europe wide gigs followed to both critical and audience acclaim, they appeared at numerous festivals though their maelstrom of swirling dark sound failed to transfer as effectively under the glare of the summer sunshine – despite this their efforts brought rewards as shortly after Iceage were picked up by Matador Records; they returned to Denmark and set about constructing their next album; the resulting ‘You’re Nothing’ being the album the band are now promoting across the UK.

The basement of The Shipping Forecast is perhaps the best venue in which to witness Iceage; the four of them shamble onto the stage, only front man Elias looks vaguely comfortable; behind him decked in apparent thrift shop geek chic his band mutter in their native tongue, Elias armed with guitar, delivers a discreet nod and the onslaught begins; a deluge of raw power spews forth; as they stand there I notice just how young this band are, how unconnected to the rock’n’roll industry they are, they have rejected the expected punk and hardcore requirements – they have no defined image, with both a Pogues T-Shirt and a black turtle neck on display they clearly have no stylist and frankly they are all the better for it.


Three tracks in and Elias discards the guitar, he mumbles into the mic, his heavily accented English making his words almost indecipherable before launching himself from the raised platform masquerading as a stage; he explodes in a pubescent rage pinballing into the audience who respond with some octane fuelled moshing, moments later Elias himself is ejected from the pit back onto the stage – all the while Johan (Guitar) and Jakob (Bass) stand pillar like whilst wrestling cavernous walls of noise as Dan pounds out a dark nilhistic beat; the whole thing a brutally efficient rage; Iceage do not do banter, when song titles are mentioned it’s in such deep guttural tones as to render them mere noises…

The set draws equally from both ‘New Brigade’ and ‘You’re Nothing’ and obviously delights the audience, their response is instant; bodies collide, arms are raised into the air, Elias in turn returns to the crowd and for a few moments is lost from sight, the horde closing around him, once more he is ejected and as he turns to face his crowd blood flows from his mouth, he draws a hand across, but a disinterested face shows no concern so intent, and so full of belief in the band that for the 30 minutes they are on stage nothing else matters; and then the instruments fall silent; Elias turns away from the crowd, drops his microphone to the floor and slopes off into the darkness.

Blindingly effective.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


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