IST IST + NOPRISM live at The Cluny

Manchester-based fast rising outfit IST IST have just released their brand new and highly acclaimed album ‘Protagonists’ and are now touring the album extensively throughout the UK and Europe, and on Friday they played Newcastle.

With their modern synth-driven disco sound local outfit NOPRISM could fill a stadium, but on Friday evening they filled Newcastle’s The Cluny ahead of IST IST’s headline show. Thunderous and with thumping, rolling synths from start until finish, NOPRISM were the perfect opener for Friday’s show. The trio grew more and more confident as their set progressed and ended on the highest possible note with single ‘Happiness’… Twice! You should have been there to understand that…

NOPRISM have created an eclectic, energising sounds inspired by Talking Heads and 70’s New York disco and celebrate that sound with fast paced, high rising tracks you can hardly not move along to! They brought those songs to The Cluny and were able to convince an at the start somewhat hesitant crowd.

We continue on the subject of thunder and lightning with the powerful indie rock of IST IST. Incredible riffs, drum rolls and strong vocal harmonies make for a dark and mystic set and sound. They’ve come a very long way since they last played Newcastle about four or five years ago… In front of four people. Their heavy guitar rock sound is the music I was raised on, and I can feel every single synth line, bass line and drum fill vibrating through me. Their set is a no-bullshit-one, with only the unavoidable stage banter.

They play song after song in one go, giving the audience exactly what they have needed for so long. Theirs is an almost vintage sound, with a modern twist and the most magnificent, crooning vocals in its midst. They play many a song of the new album, as well as earlier released songs, all of which get the crowd going. An ecstatic, freeing energy is felt amongst the people that are dancing and singing along to this somewhat stoic rock band. They play ‘All Downhill’, ‘Mary in the Black and White Room’, and personal favourite ‘Emily’ of new album ‘Protagonists’ and previously released songs ‘Silence’ and ‘A New Love Song’, which is another favourite.

I feel my gaze fixed upon both bass player and drummer, who give me the most energy, and who play with the groove of two people who’s lives depend on how well they perform this show. Most memorable is the band’s pulsating sound, this warm mix of heavy guitars, strange synths and grooving bass lines. With three albums now to their name and a live show that is somewhat addictive, IST IST have well and truly impressed, and turned this woman into a fan.

Listen to ‘Protagonists’ here!

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