Live Reviews

Test Icicles Live

Whirlwind Heat
London Astoria

Hey peeps, thought I would fill you in on the LAST EVER TEST ICICLES SHOW ON THIS PLANET!

It was fucking awesome! I now have an inkling on what an acid trip back in the 60’s must have been like! It opened with Whirlwind Heat, an electro punk band three-piece from Michigan. In the beginning I was thinking : Rise of the Amateur, but after a couple of songs I started warming to them. It was like being at a punk rave – completely mis-placed and bizarre, which is why they were probably spotted by Jack White at the beginning of their journey up the rock ladder. Refreshing! It was like nothing I had ever heard…and I say that because I think they were making it all up as they went along. A little prodigy-clash-squarepusher-killers, with a few stolen riffs here and there. Definitely an experience!

In-between Test Icicles mainlining the crowd was moshing to Drum&Bass like it was a Brixton night jam!

By the time they came on stage for the last leg of their Boa vs. Python tour, the Astoria had turned into a hot-box of raging heat and weed. Judging by the very sick, sweaty and transed out teenagers pushing past me there seemed to be a lot more than weed going around. Good thing they were on their way out, because the rest of us needed the much deprived space.

There was no messing around. They went straight on stage, mumbled a quick intro and got their teeth straight into the set. They played tracks from their first album, and joked around about with some experimental crap they claimed to be their 2nd album that nobody would get to hear…good thing too, as apparently it would have been 30min of a whining out of tune guitar…

At least they had a great sense of humour throughout the gig, and kept reminding us it was the last gig they would ever play *talk about milking it*…I’m stoked they chose to end their fast-food fame at London Astoria, the town where it probably all kicked off for them? Best of all they rewarded us with HUGE balloon balls…tons of em, while they had a quick water break. Not to say the show was at all boring. It was non-stop entertainment from raving pirate girls with wings, and UV bracelets, to kids sporting their best schizophrenic disco moves and getting into fights, to some boy from Chicago (who flew out just for this show, and was disappointed by the short set!-BTW) trying to convince me he was going to get back stage because he was from the same town as Whirlwind Heat (sadly, never happened because he kept forgetting the bands name and offering left over weed from his sock to all the lovely ladies *crash and burn*)

Although there was a referral by Rory about a Smashing Pumpkins gig that was “better than them” when he was 14. I still don’t believe the crowd went completely as mental as I saw it explode that night! For a band which is not legendary for sing-along-anthems the lyrics “Still so far…yet so close” have the crowd singing, and hanging onto every breath. ‘Circle, Square, Triangle’ leaves the venue standing on a very small thread, with people getting crushed like an overcrowded football game!

Intermittently we were ‘treated’ to Rory’s Canadian brother’s death metal voice with his lone guitarist who coyly shook his head with shame, and faced the wall as he reluctantly strummed along to the chaos happening behind him. Only in the encore did his screams really warm up alongside his brother. They had everyone on stage – Test Icicle (I’m assuming that would be the plural?) boys, Rory’s brothers two-piece, including Kelly Osborne look-alike girlfriend who was trying to sing along rock karaoke style, some roadies, and some friends. And what a better way to end a set by systematically trashing everything on stage…apologising, and leaving the stage to pave the way for the ‘please make your way to the exit’ intercom message.

Pity we will never get another flash of that sexy lumo pink guitar. Great show which put to bed the end of a Test Icicle Era! It was all over at 9:30 sharp as we had to clear the way for GAY night!

Fans will be pleased to know that as a parting gift they released a CD (with bonus DVD of live gig footage) yesterday, which is now available on Amazon. You gotta love their dry humour, its more appropriately titled: Dig Your Own Grave! They have also released a free track (after you sell your soul to some online telemarketing hounds who will then taint the rest of your natural life with calls from Anyway). MySpace will never be the same…

Niki Kova’cs