Louder Than War

Monday, January 17, 2005

RIP 2/2: Ikara Colt + Les Savy Fav

This week as been a double wammy of splits within indie. As Louder Than War have already reported, Mclusky went last Monday, and yesterday Ikara Colt decided to call it a day. Whilst not quite splitting, the excellent american post-punk act Les Savy Fav went on hiatus. Here are some good reasons to shed a tear or few.

Ikara Colt - Rudd (Live)

I saw Ikara Colt twice, once before Idlewild in May 2002 (they were better than the act that followed), and the second time at the following Reading festival. Ikara Colt starred as the headliners on the tiny Carling Stage - around the same time as the Foo Fighters were enthralling/boring everybody with how many times they had been at Reading festival in their various guises.

Their performance quite surprised me. Ikara Colt always seemed to be slightly reluctant on their records - like they would really like to do hardcore but settled on a more polite indie version of the punk that they loved. Yet, they were fucking mental. There wasn't a single point where the audience remained still through the beginning of the set - helped along by the fact that every song from Chat and Business sounded like a thumping art rock anthem. And then they misbehaved. They wanted to share the back stage beer.

"Come on, there's how many of you? And how many of them?"


Stage invade, oh we couldn't do that? Could we? Reading had long let go of its hard rock roots and simply wasn't attended by the sort who would.... oh, look, there goes one. The security guards got him, but thats OK, because another four have just jumped over the now seemingly pathetic fence and are drinking with the band. And dancing with them. For about 20 minutes, a seemingly endless run of chancers attempted to fuck with the increasingly rediculous social conventions that seperate the band from the audience - and decided to become part of the show. It was both an excellent moment in rock, proved that indie could fuck with the best of them, and proved to be something of an artisitic statement - all at the same time.

Of course it wasn't peace in paradise. By the end of the set the revellers who had joined the Colt on stage had taken it upon themselves to dismantle their instruments. They didn't play their last song, because they invited the audience to become part of the show, and the audience destroyed it. Ikara Colt were due to play Leeds the next day. They were cancelled.

Despite the set back, however, Ikara Colt showed that going to see a band did not have to be like seeing a film or an opera. It will remain one of the best and exciting shows I had ever seen . Their absence will be noted.

Les Savy Fav - Meet me in the dollar bin

I can't admit to being the greatest follower of Les Savy Fav. I discovered them only through their excellent singles collection Inches. Les Savy Fav are very much a post-punk outfit; their music laden with funk-inspired riffs. But they were never part of the mainstream 'revivial' lead by Radio 4, The Rapture or !!!. Many people also wrote them off as a joke - I never got to see them live, but UK reviews were rarely forgiving. Its a shame as Inches is some of the best enegetic, catchy and plain fun music that you will hear in this genre - far and away from the annoying pretentiousness of Bloc Party or the knowing excess of The Killers. Worth a look before they dissapear forever.


  • Wow, great post! Your description of the stage-raid is so vivid and alive. Here comes that old cliche about almost being able to see it in my head...

    I heard about McLusky, but this is first time I heard about Ikara Colt. What a bummer. Double bummer!

    Anyway, thanks for this live track and kudos for posting my favorite Les Savy Fav song.

    By Blogger bakinakwa, at 1:15 AM  

  • Oh, I'm GUTTED that Ikara Colt have knocked it on the head. I saw them in Bournemouth with the Parkinsons and The Eighties matchbox B-Line Disaster. They all came and drank at the bar with the audience after. They'd better not turn up on Never Mind The Buzzcocks in 5 years time when they're account executives for Help The Aged.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 PM  

  • It's never going to stop, is it? From now through the end of 2005, every week will be greeted with some AMAZING band calling it quits. FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!! MAKE IT STOP!! Yet, in all of this, no news of The Killers breaking up...or snipers deciding to pop off Jet one by one...or maybe a disasterous car wreck that might take the lives (or at least the ability to make music) from Linkin Park. Grr...

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