It had been a matter of days since the release of the outstanding Beyondless before Iceage were parading, and rightly so, around the stage of London’s Scala in their signature tipsy manner.
It was always going to be a packed out show, though the Danish pioneers aren’t usually seen bopping around on the musical horizon, their distinctive sound and haunting stage presence had earned them a solid fan base.
The same theme of harmless patriarchy and victory that leaks through Beyondless was transmitted instantly through the stage, the same marching snares hand-picked from ‘Take It All’ were interrupted by battering drum hits that spiralled out of control, along with virtuoso of a frontman, Elias Rønnenfelt, who lead the band effortlessly like a conductor with a dark past.
The crowd had responded instantly to the roof trembling riffs of ‘The Day the Music Dies’, only during the delirious intervals, in which Rønnenfelt swooned, wiping sweat from his brow, almost cursing at the sky, would the crowd settle down even slightly settle down.
Picture Iceage drowned in a dim, sleazy red light. Royal trumpet sounds almost pulled back imaginary velvet curtains, only for a messy poet to launch himself into the adoring crowd. The vocals in ‘Catch It’ had resonated across Scala, possessing Rønnenfelt with sincerity.
Iceage are stitched with the same thread as any revolting punk band, emblazoned with the same poetic crest you’d have found on the likes of Ian Curtis: dark, impenetrable, pleading. Yet the band lay strewn across an altar, letting us feed on their emotions like vultures.
Beyondless is out now