Test Icicles: Astoria, London: Saturday April 22
And then they were gone…
Quit while you’re ahead; The Libertines did, the Sex Pistols did and Jimi Hendrix did, albeit not by his own volition – oh, and Richard Ashcroft really should’ve done. Before they ever had a chance to jump the shark Test Icicles have said sayonara to showbiz, and they couldn’t have done it in a more magnificent manner.
Even the crowd are on fine form for this farewell. Backcombed to buggery and resplendent in circulation-stopping skinny jeans and slashed tops, there’s not been a more stylish mob since the Baader-Meinhof gang whipped up some chic civil unrest. This is going to be one hell of a wake.
Bounding on like over-excitable puppies in need of a decent meal, the group burst into their ode to PlayStation, ‘Circle Square Triangle’, with its Bloc-Party-in-a-blender screech-core given an added kick with help from a hoodied man called Scotty.
Shamelessly strutting across the stage sporting a mandigan – a cardigan for boys, fact fans – Rory Atwell and his pretty boy posse of Dev Hynes and Sam Mehran have for the past year mashed up music, fashion and style in a high-speed neon whirlwind, but now their instrument-swapping antics will be no more. So making the most of their last brush with barefaced stupidity, the trio prove that boys can multi-task with the best of ’em, as they spin mic leads across the stage, do handstands on their keyboards and, on tracks like ‘Snowball’ and shout utterly incomprehensibly like Mark E Smith’s illegitimate grandchildren let loose in the Primark sale.
At 45 minutes it’s one of the shortest ever headline sets to grace the Astoria and one of the sparsest stage sets too, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting. As huge black balloons drift down from the ceiling to the backdrop of the intense brain-warp of ‘Catch It!’, the band trash their equipment and a big, fluffy, stuffed bunny rabbit in the way only a group who know they’re never going to play another gig can. “It’s been real!”, shouts Dev from somewhere in the carnage, and there’s not a dry eye in the house…