Halfway through the opening number of headliners The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing’s set, and their guitarist stopped dead mid-song. Spotting that the (admittedly sparse) crowd was dotted around the floor, he demanded everyone move to the front, in front of a line in the floor ‘or we won’t play another note!’ When he singled out your correspondent for not complying, he lost me there and then. Having decided I wasn’t going to be bossed about by some fella that I’d never clapped eyes on before, who was in Alice Cooper-esque face paint, I proceeded to step further away from the demarcated ‘line’ until I was back at the bar, or even sat down on the sofas to the side of the hall from where I watched the remainder of their set.
Of course, I wasn’t here to see that band, though I have to admit grudgingly that their set of punk fused with metal, laced with doses of anarchic humour, was pretty good. Had the guitarist not rubbed me up the wrong way so soon into their set, I might have taken closer order – but no, I was here to see Bristol ‘party punk’ trio IDestroy who have just released a new EP ‘Pure Joy Of Life’, which received an encouraging review in Kerrang! mag. I’ve seen this band numerous times over the past 18 months or so, mostly in tiny venues, and was looking forward to their appearance on a bigger stage. Opening with their eponymous song ‘Idestroy’ they immediately launched into an unrelenting set of power pop/punk anthems. Vocalist/guitarist Bec Jevons soon took command of this stage and the crowd, which was increasing in number at the front as the set progressed.
They have a hard-hitting sound, with a rhythm section straight out of the top drawer featuring human dynamo Becky Baldwin on thumping, insistent bass and Jenn Haneef, who was operating in near darkness at the back of this stage but made her presence felt with powerful, driving rhythms. All that gives the platform for Bec Jevons, who ripped out solos, threw herself across the stage and threw plenty of ‘shapes’ into the bargain. Her guitar sound was heavy too, and the trio had at least one ageing headbanger on the barrier forgetting that he wasn’t 23 any more 😉
Most of their repertoire to date got played in this set, all five tracks from the new EP including their cover of the Gossip’s ‘And You Know…’ plus ‘Annie’ and ‘98%’ from their double ‘A’ side single of last year, as well as material from their earlier EP. They have the players, they have the frontwoman to engage any crowd and most importantly, they have the songs. Many of these songs are laden with hooks as well as powerchords, so you’re singing them back to yourself at the bar later, or even on the trip home. When you have a talented songwriter in your ranks as this band do, you’ve got a chance. This was their first appearance in Chester, and they’re welcome back here (or to Liverpool – I keep asking them, haha!) – any time.
Following this tour IDestroy will play dates in Continental Europe, and there will doubtless be more UK appearances later in 2018, around Becky Baldwin’s (she is also a member of international all-girl rockers DORJA, and UK metallers Fury) other commitments this year. When they come around again, get to a show if they’re anywhere near you.