Live Music + Gig Reviews

Ikara Colt @ Reading Festival, Reading

24 August 2001

Hot, but not bothered, and barely drunk enough on this scorched afternoon, Colt enthusiasts crushed into the Carling tent. Some sought chaos, others were just curious.

Would Ikara Colt prove to be as urgent and nihilistic as they say? Would they be mavericks or masqueraders?

Dressed like Bonnie and Clyde, the two front figures wore a style at odds with their sound. The clothes were cut far more sharply than the chords.

Sharper still was the voice of Bonnie (aka Claire Ingram), guitarist and assistant shouter. Clyde (Paul Resende) yelled like John Lydon, but he had slicked back hair and vowels that were more Queen’s English than God Save the Queen.

In the background, a vibrating mop of hair smothered the face of the drummer. All sticks, sweat and flailing limbs, he flogged away at the drum kit. He beat out a dry, uneven clatter with no pulse or vitality. Dead horse, anyone?

Meanwhile, Bonnie, Clyde and accomplice were getting away with murder. Dischordant guitar thrashed raggedly against an uninspired bassline. A three-note keyboard part was thrown in for extra shoddiness.

The whole ensemble amounted to a jarring set of off-beat ditties. Each three-minute squabble sounded much like the last, the lyrics indiscernible above the din. It was impossible to tell if there was anti-establishment feeling behind the rebellious sound and outlaw looks.

Do they want to dispose of the monarchy? Who knows? That thing called melody? Contract killing.

They won’t get away with it forever.

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Ikara Colt @ Reading Festival, Reading