Ill at The Soundhouse, 31st May 2018

with Knice and Longtooth and Wasterman

Tonight’s show was organised by Magic Teapot and The Other Window (The Non Alliance Pact).

Reviewed by Keith Jobey

When you see a gig promoted by the The Non Alliance Pact, a loose collection of music promoters including the Other Window, Magic Teapot and Locust Promotions, you know it’s going to have alternative leanings, perhaps even subversive ones. Which is exactly what made this a must go to event. That and the fact that ILL were headlining.

The evening got off to a belting start with Knice, a local hardcore band. Like a speedball of energy covered in hair, this band were relentless. I normally wouldn’t go for this style of music but I found myself being totally entertained by it in the end. Such expression and energy can’t be contained.

Knice Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Longtooth & Wasterman then changed the direction abruptly. If two guys from Nottingham can become stars singing along to a backing track on a laptop then surely two other guys from these parts can do it too. They may not have the attitude and presence of Sleaford Mods, or be to everyone’s taste, but they certainly got the crowd dancing along tonight.

Longtooth & Wasterman Photo: Kevin Gaughan

ILL were last seen in Leicester supporting British Sea Power at Dryden Street Social. Since then they’ve released their debut album ‘We Are Ill’, this gig forming part of the album tour.

‘You’re a bit weird, I like it’ keys and vocalist Harri tells the people of Leicester, ‘I’ve found my people’. A sentiment echoed from all of us there I would say, we’ve all found our people along with a band that can represent us in ILL.

Ill Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Current guitarist Tamsin was absent due to a bouncy castle injury we’re told, so past guitarist Sadie filled in, providing a scratchy pedal soaked accompaniment that the Gang Of Four would be proud of. Harri’s eccentric keyboard playing filled the sound out from the other side of the stage while Whitney’s bass and Fiona’s drums acted as a focal point, tying it all together masterfully.

Ill Photo: Kevin Gaughan

It was a performance that left my live music taste buds re-energised. A gig I’ll recall for a long time from a band I’ll be looking to catch again many times hopefully. I hope that the Non Alliance Pact can host them again soon.