There has been a certain degree of hype surrounding London based rockers, ‘IC1s’, this past year. Formed in Harrow in 2010, their lively and energetic approach to song writing has seen them gain accolades from the more famed media outlets such as XFM and Absolute Radio, as well as Alan McGee of Creation Records, who has also spoken of their worth. They’ve also had the honour of supporting ‘Charlatans’ and ‘The View’, as well as an impressive slot at The Olympics, performing on the ‘Emerging Icons Stage’.

I first saw them on a wintery Monday November night at the underground venue of Ruby Lounge in Manchester. What struck me the most was the unfamiliar sight of thirty or so gig goers who ardently queued early to be let in to catch ‘IC1s’, who were first on the bill that night along with ‘Darlia’ and ‘Family Rain’.

They may have only played six songs on the night I saw them, but it was enough to captivate the audience as their tenacious attitude and raw dynamism was unleashed

to leave the crowd yearning for more. Perhaps in a few months’ time that’s exactly what they’ll get! ‘Wack Jack’ is one of the highlights, a punk like stomping tune that shifts unexpectedly from the soft to the mental in a four minute barrage of anthemic rock that’s sure to create manic memories with festival goers in years to come. The fact that the song is loosely based on a stalker suits the abrupt change of pace, as if highlighting the unpredictability of an unstable mind. ‘Beautiful Ugly’ is the recent single release, and is emotively delivered by lead singer, Dan Coburn, whose vocals sound way beyond his years. This song is a change in style from the usual pacey tempo they are accustomed too, but with it being about an ex-girlfriend, I guess that can bring out the most heartfelt of ballads for even the most riotous of bands.

Single releases, ‘Levitate’ and ‘Not So Perfect’ are at the very heart of the ‘IC1s’ mantra of full pelt indie rock n roll. Third single release, ‘Growing Up, Going Down’ carries all the energy its tale deserved, an autobiographical song of teenage terror and the frustrations of life in an environment that tries to keep us down. Their southern swagger and ability to write about topics that people can relate to makes them a band that could resurrect the gang fan culture in the future.

I had the pleasure of speaking to the band to find out how they felt about the accolades thrown at them, where the inspiration comes from, and what are their plans.

If you had to sum up the music of IC1s in one or two sentences, how would you?

Jesse: No musician ever wants to answer that question. Mark Beaumont calls us a “Proper Rock n Roll Band”, so I’ll go with that!

Tell us the stories behind ‘Growing Up Going Down’ and ‘Beautiful Ugly’?

Dan: ‘Growing Up Going Down’ is just about growing up really. My upbringing is no different to anyone else’s. People still hang about in parks, get into trouble, play football, chat to girls that won’t change. ‘Beautiful Ugly’ is about a mad relationship I was in. Again, I think that happens to a lot of people too or maybe it doesn’t? Maybe it just felt normal at the time. I guess (in general) the lyrics explain in part about my life and others around me but I think it’s important to leave some bits open to the listener to decide what they think it means.

You were the second most downloaded new entry in the iTunes alternative chart with ‘Levitate’. How proud were you of that especially having only been together for a relatively short period of time?

Dan: Yeah and I think Kasabian were number one with a free download. We were really happy, it’s always good to do well but we wanna kick on and do more and get number ones in the future!

You’ve had some accolades thrown at you in the last 2 years, from Alan McGee to Gary Powell of The Libertines. What does that mean to you?

Jesse: It’s cool as fuck. I know a lot of new bands would give a testicle each to have half of the things said about us said about them, but honestly, for me, it doesn’t matter who has said what, any positive feedback from anyone feels the same. We’re grateful

You even worked with Gary Powell. How did you find working with him?

Dan: Gary is a great guy to have around and we always have a chat when we bump into each other. He’s a cool and very talented drummer.

Jesse: He’s really cool to work with in the studio too. I remember him sitting opposite me whilst I was recording my guitar parts and kept thinking, Gary Powell from The Libertines is sitting there watching me play, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

You played The New Year’s Eve gig for ‘This Feeling’ which had quite the line- up including Carl Barat. How did that come about and what did it mean to be involved?

Jesse: It’s at a club night called ‘This Feeling’ that we’ve played a few times. The Rifles and Revered & The Makers were playing as well. They always stick on up and coming bands and we got asked. It’s a great night to be involved in, we’ve all got a lot of time for This Feeling, and we actually just named a new song after it!

Where do you prefer playing gigs? Down south or up north?

Dan: We just love playing gigs. We seem to get a good reception up north as well as down here so I couldn’t pick from the two. We just wanna get back on stage as soon as we have walked off of it.

You say the music scene is “crying out for us.” What gap do you believe there is in the industry that you can fill?

Jesse: It’s no news to anyone that there is a lack of guitar music in the charts, there’s even a lack of guitar music in alternative and independent music. I’m sorry but a Keytar will never be cool. Everyone talks about the return of guitar music, from the audience to the journalists. That’s the gap.

What do you make of the commercial indie scene today?

Dan: I don’t think too much of it to be honest. It’s pretty dry. There’s no rock stars. No one wants to be these people and Mick Jagger is in his 70s so what does that leave us?

What’s been the best moment of the past couple of years as a band?

Jesse: The whole experience of being together in this band has been amazing. Though if I had to pick I’d say the tour we just did with The Family Rain was pretty special.

Obviously the Olympics was cool too, people flying over from other countries to see us. I dunno, it’s all just brilliant when you let it sink in.

What was playing the Olympics like?

Dan: It was a great honour to be part of it to be honest and we have great memories of it.

Jesse: Amazing. I hadn’t watched any of the games until we played there. Then when I watched the closing ceremony, I was sitting in silence for 10 minutes afterwards feeling pretty honoured that we’d in some way played a part of that whole thing.

Tell us about the gigs you’ve got coming up abroad?

Jesse: There’s a whole load of stuff going on, rumours here, confirmed things there.

You’d have to speak to our manager ‘The Sween’ about what is happening, cos we don’t know half the time! Ha. We’ll definitely be on tour this year though so stayed tuned.

Finally, where do you hope to be by the end of 2014?

Dan: I want us to be the band on everyone’s lips. If we keep the momentum going.

Jesse: The album will be out, we’ll have toured some more, been to America.

Photo by Matt Johnston

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.