Sunday, May 30

Ikara Colt / Yourcodenameis:Milo / Kill Kenada - The Medicine Bar @ The Custard Factory, Birmingham

Kill Kenada are one of the more straightforward bands you're likely to see. Singer with bleach blonde hair and blue vest plays some loud guitar, shouts into the mic and shakes his hair around a bit, other band members follow. Besides the singer reminding me of Sean Pertwee's ageing surfer character from the early Zeta-Jones movie Blue Juice - there's not much else to say. Kill Kenada are alright in that shouty/quiet sort of way...but much like a child's paddling pool, they lack depth.

Geordie five-piece Yourcodenameis:Milo are a far more engaging proposition. The seemingly four foot tall singer looks like the kind of kid you wouldn't hesitate to rob on the bus for 50p - but when he takes the stage he turns into some kind of rock monster. The other band members look more like bank clerks than a rock band, but it’s something you can ignore if you close your eyes and open your ears. The band produce ...Trail of Dead like shards of songs, lead by layers of angular guitars - something that always goes down well here at Danger! High Postage Towers.

Ikara Colt are back with a new line-up and a new album, and with Tracy Bellaries, they have one of the most rock and roll bass players I've ever seen. She’s the star of the show as she prowls around the stage, thrusting her bass provocatively, even upstaging the frenetic drumming of Dom for once.

The Colt’s new album has a bigger, heavier sound – but it doesn’t seem to matter to the too cool for school Custard Factory crowd who stand there motionless – resulting in a strange stand off as singer Paul roams the stage like a coiled spring waiting to be released.

The band rattle through tracks from their new album ‘Modern Apprentice’ and debut ‘Chat and Business’, with poise, zeal and efficiency of a band on a mission. Singles ‘Wanna Be That Way’ and ‘Wake in the City’ are two of the tracks of the year so far and old classics ‘Sink Venice’ and ‘Belgravia’ sound as good as ever. A new dimension which was previewed on the ‘Basic Instructions EP’ is added to the band, when Tracy switches to the other side of the stage to play keyboards.

Near the end of the gig, a member of the crowd shouts for the band to play ‘One Note’, whereupon Paul issues a challenge – if the audience makes a bit of an effort to get into the gig then they’ll play it – if not, they won’t…it’s that simple.

Two songs later, after playing ‘I’m with Stupid’ the band leave the stage and the crowd One Noteless. Paul smashes the microphone on the floor, presumably in frustration with the audience and their apathy.

Indifference is something that all bands have to contend with at some point, but Ikara Colt deserve better. Take their taut melodies to your hearts and treasure them.