Thursday, July 29, 2010

Show Time!

I.C.H. - TAGNUTS, Steamboat Tavern, Ipswich, UK - 16th July 2010
Third time lucky for me!! Since hearing, and being blown away by, the debut I.C.H. album, I’ve been in Ipswich twice previously when the band has played. The first time, in August last year, was the night after my Mum’s place got burgled; needless to say I couldn‘t leave the poor old dear alone in an unlocked house (the scum stole the house keys too) while I went boozing and schmoozing. The second was around about March this year. I’d left what was gearing up to be a rather good New Zealand Summer but weeks previous and, arriving in the UK during the second flurry of snow, I was struggling just too damn much with the cold. My knuckles had cracked open and the prospect of waiting for a bus, then the walk to the Steamboat was just too much. Man - the Kiwi climate has certainly made me soft! Haha!!!
Thankfully, this show appeared on the Steamboat’s calendar. Even a day of being frustrated, annoyed and ultimately insulted by the fuck-wit ’company policies’ of the Abbey National (or Santander as they are now) could not deter me this time - although I did forget my camera - so ‘boat bound I headed!
A disappointingly small crowd greeted Cambridge Ska-Punk act, THE TAGNUTS. The first thing that was really noticeable was a stunningly thin guitar sound which seemed to hamper the thrust of the thrashier numbers. Comparisons are unavoidably drawn with CAPDOWN but minus the brass and plus an additional guitar, giving the band an UNSEEN-esque bite. Lyrically, the songs were rife with socio-political comment and, although all the songs were new to me, a number stood out with ‘Motivate Me’ in particular lodging itself in my memory.
Come I.C.H. time, the Guinness had started to work its magic and a few more punters had turned up. After a bit of the renowned cheeky Essex banter from Ed, the band kicked in with a blur of flying dreads and a set that was faster, tighter and much more aurally assaulting than I had imagined. Much of the aforementioned debut album was played, but highlights would include ‘Not Indestructable’, a belligerent ‘Cunts’, ‘Oi Tune’, a sneering, bitter set-stealing ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and the excellent tale of passive suburban rebellion/ apathy that is ‘Smells Like Community Spirit’. What I.C.H. has that sets the band apart from other contemporaries is a natural charm that eminates from each and every band member, but vocalist Ed in particular is a forthright and commanding figure centre stage, with just the right amount of arrogance that the vocalist of any Punk band requires.
Next time this band of be-dreaded, cantankerous ragamuffins assault a stage near you, it comes with a good recommendation from me.
I.C.H Scanner interview - hit here.

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