iLiKETRAiNS @ Hare & Hounds, 28th October 2010


With a suspiciously fey band name it shouldn’t come as a too much of a surprise to see frontman/guitar David Martin sporting a face-hugger full-set beard/moustache and, intriguingly, a naval lieutenant’s blazer.

iLiKETRAiNS, as some will have it, are an enigmatic entity and insinuate themselves like burrowing, subliminal psyche-worms long after the gig. Their album, ‘He Who Saw The Deep’ was just released as they began their mini-tour this week at the H&H. Odd title that, what with Martin’s nautical stage attire: Titanic sub-text perhaps? It’s how they get to you.


Guitarist, Guy Bannister’s weaving, reverberant effects create gothic arch crescendos of cathedral splendor where Martin’s baritone introspective, brooding lyrics meander in melancholic inner-spaces. Alistair Bowis’ Rickenbacker bass provides a defining sub-atomic signature throughout the set. I know, Pseuds Corner beckons, but I’m really taken with this band. It could be alt. art-house, it could be auteur poseur, emo/anal drone but it’s not.


Mind you, lyrics that go something to the effect of, ‘Please don’t go in to the kitchen/That’s where the knives are/I need you like I need a hole in the head/I’ll sleep in our bed tonight’, are perhaps best not taken out of context. With new album release the band maintain that they have taken the ‘…chance to re-invent. There is light, shade, hope and devastation.’ Down-loadable Life (as they know it) in a nut-case basically. If your predilection errs towards synapse soothing nuances of Joy Division, Interpol (see former), Sigour Ros, Stars of the Lid and some damn fine Twin Peaks enigma variations you’ll find method in iLIKETRAINS seeming madness.

They’re with PledgeMusic, a non-profit making company who help profile bands and channel a percentage of profits to Friend of the Earth. Follow them up because these are uplifting anthems for gloomed youth in search of the light.


Set List.

Sirgas, A Father’s Son, Progress, A Rook, When we were Kings, Hope, We saw the Deep, Victress, Stainless Steel, These feet of Clay, Sea of Regrets

Review – John Kennedy
Photos – Ian Dunn

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