Live Music + Gig Reviews

iLiKETRAiNS @ Bush Hall, London

22 April 2008

Euphoria desperation. That’s what iLiKETRAiNS do. It’s like the Arcade Fire with all the happyextracted, doing performances of Funeral in between working 21 hour days in the Victorian workhouse.They may be brow-beaten and desolate, but they’re bally well going to keep spirits up through adarkly tragic sense of humour and an irrepressible sense of occasion.

There’s a certain sense of grimacing in the face of adversity. And they’ve probably needed itrecently, what with bastard fake Italian policemen reliving them of large sums of hard earned cashvia a scam that the makers of The Real Hustle would dismiss as being too easy.

But then again, as a band who’ve focussed on history’s most tragic figures, a few tales of woe areprobably going to help that ol’ third album come along quite nicely.

But for the first couple of songs tonight it did seem like something was pressing on their mind.Twenty Five Sins and the normally foolproof A Rook House For Bobby are loud’n’all, but lack thesubtlety that iLiKETRAiNS normally do so well. Follow that with We Go Hunting, easily theweakest single they’ve released so far, and it doesn’t bode well.

Miraculously, it’s a new song which brings everything back to kilter. The as yet untitled (butcurrently it’s something about a snake) new one beautifully balances the ethereal quiet bits whereDavid Martin’s gloriously melancholy baritone balances suicidally on the merest slivers of melodyagainst the bit where everyone goes apeshit, ears are pinned back and Bush Hall shakes to it’s verycore.

From then on in it’s plain sailing: The Deception is a glorious wail of post-rock soundscapes, TerraNova sounds like Interpol and Sigur Ros battling to invent stream power and I AmMurdered is performed with enough gusto to cause instrumentation failure.

“I rocked out so hard on that last song I broke my guitar…”, lead singer David Martin sheepishly admits. “Rock’n’roll”, someone shouts, “It’s all very well being rock’n’roll…” Martin replies, “but we haven’tgot any money!”. More tragedy. More woe. Between dodgy euro cops and busted strings, iLIKETRAiNS need your help – but it’s a hell of a goodcause.

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