IC1s @ The Macbeth, London - 29/11/2013

by JenPhillips
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on 04 December 2013 in Live
Rating 7/10

London band IC1s have had a hectic time of it lately, touring with the likes of The Family Rain, sharing bills with Bloc Party and The Charlatans, and in 2012 participating in the Olympics Opening Ceremony on the Emerging Icons stage, plus headlining HMV’s Next Big Thing Festival. The last two years have clearly been busy ones for them. With all this touring it’s no surprise they are yet to release their debut album (due March 2014), although with recent fan credits such as Creation Records founder Alan Mcgee, Gary Powell from The Libertines and BBC6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, surely their debut album time is overdue.

Late on a Friday evening the Macbeth in Hoxton is its usual ‘packed up the back, no one up the front’ capacity, but as the band begin tuning their guitars the crowd edge slowly closer. Frontman Daniel Coburn sups his beer in the throng while watching his band, and proceeds to warm up by jogging on the spot, as a boxer might do in the ring while preparing for a title fight. When the band have played a sufficient intro for him, he saunters on stage, hands in the air (very careful not to spill the pint of beer he is still clutching), encouraging a small cheer from their devoted fans at the front.

Much has been said about the swagger of frontman Daniel Coburn, and tonight, although a little more subdued than his performance supporting The Family Rain at Heaven earlier in the week, the Ian Brown/Liam Gallagher simian stroll is still kicking around. The band’s tunes are anthemic, their stage presence is nonchalant, and their hardcore fans are very, very excitable. IC1s have played many a small venue like the Macbeth since forming in 2011, but they appear to relish in the fight to hold the attention of a crowd in larger ones. Tonight, 'Growing Up, Going Down' brings on a rock n roll sing-a-long from the crowd and the band play up to it, bringing some much needed energy to proceedings. There is some slightly awkward shuffling about by the band behind Coburn, but you get the impression that the modest Macbeth stage is just too small for where they want to be right now. They’ve had a taste of the big time, and they want more.

IC1s may appear on the surface to be your archetypal, derivative indie guitar band, but dig a little deeper and you find that beside from being musically very talented, lyrically they can hold their own, especially on set closer 'Wack Jack'. When the slow, sweet opening chords of 'Wack Jack' begins, a man at the front of the crowd holds his lighter aloft, while the rest of the crowd support the band as impromptu backing singers, swaying along with drinks in hand. The heartbroken lyrics and sweetness and light doesn’t last long as the band proceed to get 'a little bit mental' and give all they have into the last track of the evening. The crowd do, indeed, get a little bit mental, and as is the norm at IC1 gigs a drunken, jovial, hands-in-the-air stage invasion occurs. Guitarist Jesse James can’t help but break into a grin at the ridiculous of it all, as the band allows the crowd to take over the stage and the vocals. 2014 could be a classic year for IC1s, best keep an eye on them.


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