Iceage at Gorilla, Manchester review

William Metcalfe was on hand to give his verdict of the Copenhagen rockers.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 13th Sep 2018.
Originally published: 12th Sep 2018

Image: Jess Morgan Holt

‘We’re without a saxophone player tonight because someone punched him in the face in the last city we played in’, announces tonight’s support, Josiah Konder. The truest definition of a warm, British welcome. Clear inspirations of Nick Cave can be seen within his performance, with his backing band demonstrating an ever widening display of instrumental and vocal talent. There is a strong theatrical value to the performance, a value which enables the crowd to be thrilled by the set, regardless of familiarity with his music.  

Iceage open their headline set with four tracks from recent album, Beyondless, including ‘Hurrah’, ‘Painkiller’ and ‘Under the Sun’. The forward moving and ever progressing mentality of the band as a collective is exemplified in tonight’s setlist, which includes performances of nearly all of ‘Beyondless’. And as if performing pretty much the entirety of an album isn’t enough, Iceage also slip two new, unreleased tracks into the set. 

Taking a step into their gritter back catalogue, the stabs which signal a performance of ‘Morals’ divides the venue into two, as fans serge forward into an instantaneously emerged pit. Frontman, Elias Bender Ronnenfelt, feeds off the energy, teasing the crowd of coming into their reach. The man knows he is beautiful, and deep down everyone inside the Gorilla tonight knows, regardless of sexuality. He may be the only man that can combine an Ian Brown inspired baggy dance with looking/sounding quite confused and be able to enthral a crowd in doing so. 

He somehow manages to look equally as lost as looking completely at home. Crimson lights fill the room as ‘White Rune’ sends the crowd further into a boiling pot of limbs and bodies, which is followed by further new material before ‘Catch It’ brings the impressive set to an end. 

Although it may seem a small thing to pick up on, it is the expansion of Iceage’s set up in the form of violin and a saxophone which maintains an avid interest for new and old fans alike. Releasing their debut album when most of the band were just 17, the band are currently one of the most well-respected post-punk outfits around. With new material in the set, let’s hope that it is sooner rather than later that it is released.