wildlife cover art

wildlife cover artIcarus Line

Manchester Gullivers

3rd Nov 2013

Following the release of their recent album Slave Vows (our review here), bulldozing Los Angeles noise mongers have embarked on a UK tour. Louder Than War boss John Robb caught their Manchester date. 

Detonate! detonate! ‘detonate! the true power of rock n roll with free jazz Iggy riot!

There is so much wrong with the world and one of those things is that a band that is so perfect as The icarus Line is playing to 60 fervent disciples in an upstairs pub room in Manchester.

Look, I know at least they have got an audience and they get to tour the world and they even get to cause a riot when they support the Cult in LA when their confrontational, yet utterly spellbindingly, beautiful take on the hallowed ground of R n R offends the ears of the beery masses.


But The Icarus Line are worth so much more- there should be 600 people out for a band like this- a band that manages to cross the spooky slide of the blues- like a prime time Gun Club into some free jazz Sun Ra spectral spaces and the looooose madness of the Stooges at their best with the swaggering, swallowing the works of Shakespeare of the Birthday Party before they detonated with the fervent claustrophobia of Suicide. I’m not talking about these bands as influences, I’m talking about them as brothers in arms, as equals- yup The Icarus Line are that good.

This is the holy gospel ratcheted up, this is a music that does the wild noise but also has well thought out passages of brilliance, a music that is full of dynamics and worships at the alter of Raw Power but can peel off its own ambience.

These are musicians who are intuitive and imaginative- the twin guitars entwine then peel off for sex fernzy, the bass grinds out the spine and Joe Cardomone was born to front this beautiful chaos- a skinny dude standing in the wind tunnel of brilliant music.

The Icarus Line are currently the best rock n roll band in the world- don’t let them become one of those bands that you read about in hindsight- please check them out on the interent.

When people talk about free jazz blues they just talk the Icarus Line deliver it and dare to fly right up to the sun…

Catch The Icarus Line in Leeds tomorrow (5th Nov) if you’re in the region.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Totally agree with everything said in this review. The Icarus Line were astonishing last night, one of the greatest gigs i’ve ever witnessed. Slightly surreal that it was in Gullivers too.

  2. I’ve been recommended this band by an old friend who has worked with them and who you know. .. Sadly the place they are playing at in Sheffield has an age limit and I wanted to take my son. .. He’s only 11 but has clocked up some impressive meets (Hawkwind last night)… You might remember him as the little man at the front who out shouted ‘I believe’ at Rebellion :) he loves his music… Such a shame about the age limit :(


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