Test Icicles - Manchester Academy 2 - 20.4.06

It wasn't a split of Take That gargantuan proportions with suicide crisis lines set up and the warning signs may have been more obvious than a Home & Away plotline, but damn they ain't even gone yet and we're already missing the 3 man bundle of fun that was Test Icicles. Still with their Myspace page full of message of bile at former heartthrob Sammy Danger and his one man mission to turn the band into a bigger shambles than Babyshambles two nights ago what will we expect for a last fairwell in Manchester?

From the moment Test Icicles walk out in rainmac's bounding off the walls like hero's fired up on cocaine and sunny D it's clear that the lethargy of their last Manchester appearance has gone and the raucous party spirit is back in full effect. As 45 minutes blurs by it's nigh on impossible to distinguish one song from another, but that's not the point. With the gabba beats, the techno sledgehammer and guitars which cut through like the Slits and The Ramones they set about making a racket that only the kids could love. Looking around tonight's venue there's a youth movement going on, half scene kids bored of the wrist slitting and half indie kids who want something a bit more exciting than bands with a few half inched Franz Ferdinand riffs, but essentially it's kids who've left school, gone home, spent a few hours on their make up while getting wrecked on white lightning.

Musically it was never meant to evolve from what we witness. One album and out was the agenda and it's perfectly fitting that the last time we get to hear "Circle Square Triangle", "Boa Vs Python" and "What's Your Damage" come a few short months after they landed. By the time they left the stage with half a dozen special guests on stage with them the chaotic show that was Test Icicles comes to an end and there's not a feeling of despair once they've gone. Everyone's still bewildered as to what the f**k was that? I don't know, but I f**king like it. Test Icicles RIP

Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com

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