Danish punk upstarts Iceage have only been around since 2011, but already have three brilliant albums to their name. With a reputation for raucous (and sometimes controversial) live shows, they’ve come to Manchester institution Night & Day in support of their latest album, last years brilliant Plowing Into The Field Of Love, and the place is already packed and electric with expectation. The young crowd are assembled as close to the stage as possible, probably with the chance to interact with frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt in mind, and after a brief wait where the tension is racked up a few notches guitarist Johan Surrablle Wieth appears on stage to start proceedings, quickly followed by the other three members. With not a word of introduction (Rønnenflet isn’t big on talking, with the exception of introducing a few song), the band launch into a new song and don’t look back.

What follows is 45 minutes of cool as fuck punk rock that blows my tiny little mind. Rønnenfelt is such a charismatic front man, he’s impossibly good looking and it’s impossible to tear your eyes away from him. He stalks around on the stage, snarling, posturing, standing on the monitors at the edge of the stage so the reverent crowd can grab and snatch at him. It’s one of the best displays of leading a band I’ve witnessed in a long time, he’s mesmerising and magnetic, which makes the show even more intense. After the opening new song, the band run through probably the best three songs on ‘Plowing…’, and it could we be my favourite live moment of 2015 so far. ‘How Many’ is followed by ‘Glassy Eyed, Dormant and Veiled’, the drummer bashing the hell out of his kit on the latter as the crowd go mad, a mosh-pit instantly forming in front of the stage, the crowd joining in with Rønnenfelt singing about his absent father…it’s cathartic and weirdly touching. Then comes ‘The Lord’s Favourite’, an odd song on paper, sounding like a punk version of a country music classic, but it’s thrilling, and as Rønnenfelt hollers in his heavy European drawl ‘one hundred Euro wine, I do believe in heaven and I do believe it’s time’, the crowd pogos, punches the air and hollers right back at him.

If I think they’ve tossed away the highlight of the show pretty early doors in ‘The Lord’s Favourite’ then I’m hugely mistaken. The monumental ‘Forever’ is astonishing, the band creating a huge swell of noise around Rønnenfelt’s voice, pulling it all back for the songs quieter moments, before a cacophony of noise brings it to a ramshackle end, the whole thing seeming on the edge of spiralling out of control; yet it never does, and that’s the beauty of this band. Every song seems like it could go off the rails at any moment, but really they’re as tight as any one, and that’s the exciting illusion – it could all collapse around them, but it never does; the whole gig feels on a knife edge, a bit dangerous. Ending on the title track from ‘Plowing…’, the band exit the stage immediately, music comes through the PA and the lights go up without even the pretence that their will be an encore. Iceage have come, melted our minds, ears and hearts, and left without even telling us they love us. It’s clear from the beaming faces coming back from the front of the stage that there’s plenty of love for them though. Extraordinary stuff.

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