iceage live


The Prince Albert, Brighton – 1st March 2013

Upstairs at the Prince Albert in Brighton is a cosy venue to say the least; stick a hundred people in there and there wouldn't be room to swing a gnat, let alone anything of the feline variety, and it came as a bit of a surprise to find that Iceage had been booked there to promote their combative new album, You're Nothing. The promise of a warm evening ensued with our discussions beforehand centring around how long the band would play seeing as they could pretty much fit both of their albums into a fifty-minute set. Ultimately they managed just over half an hour – understandably concentrating on the new album – setting off with 'Ecstasy' but squeezing in one song after the obvious closer and album end-piece 'You're Nothing'.

As the band set up pre-gig, singer Elias Rønnenfelt sits on the front of the stage, exuding cool and drinking a beer. The man looks immaculate and it's clear he doesn't have much to learn in the posing stakes. As the band launch into their set, he takes centre stage with guitarist Johan Wieth and bassist Jakob Pless standing guard at either side. They barely move from the spot all evening, Wieth with his legs together looks every bit the sentry as he calmly unleashes a barrage of noise, while drummer Dan Nielsen is also undemonstrative as he pounds away, leaving the whole focus of the audience on Rønnenfelt.

And the suave singer is every bit the bewitching frontman, whether playing guitar, as he does for two or three numbers early in the set, or when he ditches his instrument to hurl himself around the stage, unplugging the microphone on one occasion as he rolls around the monitors. It's clear the singer is used to performing with abandon; when one of the audience picks him up and carries him off stage, he never falters or misses a word. He spends the second half of the set with the audience, either being thrown around in the air or howling directly in their faces. He never loses his cool once, never communicates other than utter the title of the next song and, when it is all over, he simply walks through the main door and disappears leaving the band to pack up on their own.

It's a terrific performance of controlled chaos which brings even more bite to the already-razor sharp new songs. Iceage really are a quality band; they are on a different sphere to others of their genre and barely a member of the audience is not smiling as they leave the venue. With a insanely long tour ahead of them promoting the album, it's clear they are prepared to put in the work and if they keep progressing in the way they have over the past few years, they may well become one of the wonders of the world. Keep an ear out and don't miss the chance of seeing them in a small venue while you can.

You're Nothing Review

Photos Gary Packham

iceage live in brighton

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