Alternative music reviews

December 16, 2008

In Still Life – iLiKETRAiNS, Ruby Lounge, Manchester

Filed under: iliketrains,reviews — @ 1:40 pm Comments (0)

I checked back to my review of October 2005, and noted that I had written “See them at this level while you can – you might not be able to for long”. Well, the good news for devotees is that my predictive powers have been proven as accurate as ever, and iLiKETRAiNS continue to plough a lonely furrow eluded by commercial success. Supported by AirCav (who we missed, thanks to my co-reporter’s over-optimistic expectations of motorway traffic) and Jeniferever (most enjoyable Swedish ambient post-punk), iLiKETRAiNS took the stage with ’25 Sins’, and gave us an hour of old, new, and very new, from ‘A rook house for Bobby’, to an as-yet untitled new number, apparently provisionally titled ‘Forget to Breathe’. Hampered by illness, and restricted by an early curfew (to make way for a Metal night!) there was no encore, no ‘Stainless Steel’ or ‘Curtains Close’, but that was no bad thing as it would have been difficult to top the closing “Spencer Perceval”. The band showed their breadth (for me, the harmonies on ‘Victress’ were amazing) and Dave Martin fixed the crowd with steely glint above a luxuriant beard like the lovechild of Ian Curtis and Scott of the Antarctic. Sometimes their influences are a little too obvious (Peter Hammill could claim royalties on ‘Forget to Breathe’) but for me they remain a little-known national treasure; literate, thoughtful, quirky and inspiring. I also wrote in 2005 “My faith in live music is restored…”. Well, it was again tonight.

Also, in the week after the death of Oliver Postgate has resulted in a wave of nostalgia for cheap animation, may I recommend this video:

review by Big Dave

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