IST IST and Post Ironic State

King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Glasgow, 13.04.2023

It was Divine’s first time at the legendary King Tuts Wah Wah Hut and that was a great cause for excitement, of the Rock N Roll kind. A venue that is just as famous as the brilliant Barrowland Ballroom for attracting musical greatness. It is a venue that drips with musical history well documented by the music press Indeed it is through this that the venue’s name has been burned into my subconscious as a must-do venue. Tonight was the night that my King Tuts cherry was popped.

I arrived in Glasgow off of the 7.30pm bus from Auldee Reekie and headed for my rendezvous with Raymond the amazing photographer and Angel my dancing partner of the night, As I power walked up Saint Vincent Street the anticipation was growing for my first sighting of this Holy Grail of Rock N Roll wonderfulness. It really does glow on first sighting, a smile spread across my face and I just knew that tonight was going to be wonderful. Indeed it was while doing my make-up and styling my hair to the sounds of IST IST’s brilliant new long player “Protagonists”, yes its been on a loop since its arrival through my letterbox 3 weeks ago. A long player that keeps on giving with every play.

It really is a delightful indulgence of the elements that hooked me back in the day. The music that influenced the birth of Goth and the style of Divine. (Check out Divines IST IST preview and “Protagonists” Review on the Mumble Website) IST IST are making massive waves and the new album is flying up the charts and the bands supporting tour of “Protagonists” Is selling out English venues much much bigger than tonight’s intimate blessing of Rock N Roll Grace. Is it any wonder my knickers were soaking? I was completely up for tonight’s blessing in its entirety. The dance was on.

I hadnae been this excited for a band since “Killing Joke” At the Barrowland Ballroom last year. Being an old New Romantic Goth. I was dancing from the moment I entered King Tutz, The warm-up DJ got me in the groove straight away, I was completely up for this but nothing could have prepared me for the excellence of tonight’s support to “IST IST” Post Ironic State are a group of local musicians. tonight’s opening act hit all the right notes collectively, I witnessed true innovation and expert craftsmanship. The lead singer and Drummer Jai McCann. Is a powerful frontman and his voice’s. power Range and sheer passion. Deep and beautiful. in an Ian Curtis/ Andrew Eldritch/ Iggy Pop kind of way, Instantly hooks one, oh aye this guy can sing.

To his right on electronic wizardry and keyboards, The insanely beautiful “Jo Jo” (Josephine Hawley) Who bared more than a striking resemblance to Patricia Morrison. To Jai’s Left. on Bass Guitar, another Gothtastic young geni and master of his instrument, Elliot Johnson. On Drums completing the rhythm section in a mercurial drumming perfection, deep and tribal, Ross Stewart, and on lead guitar, a new recruit to the fold. who had to learn all of his guitar parts in the afternoon before tonight’s Gig. And he did so to perfection. How could anyone not be impressed with such an accomplishment? Jake Blease who is a welcome addition to the band, whose’s name is as interesting and poetic as the collective creative whole, Post Ironic State are a creative force to be reckoned with.

This is the birthing of a mega band. It was when Jai brought a drum to the floor to enthuse the already brilliant rhythm section, reminiscent of the Barundi Beats that inspired Adam And The Antz to creative heights. It was powerful and truly felt like an initiation. Indeed it was an absolute performance of Raw passion and insane chemistry. I really did ask myself. How could any band possibly follow that?

Mark Divine’s words “Post Ironic State” Are gonna be massive. I couldn’t stop myself from dancing. What a truly fantastic night this was turning out to be. That alone was worth the effort of getting to Glasgow and King Tuts. Indeed The New Wave Of New Wave. All of the best bits, defiantly post-punk influences. done in the best possible taste.

Tonight’s Headliners “IST IST” brought the brilliant two-week-old album Protagonists to the King Tuts stage. on a British and European tour to promote the new smash hit long payer. As I said before, King Tuts is by far the smallest venue of the tour, to be honest, King Tuts is tiny, it disnae take many folk to fill it. Of course after nipping outside for a bit of fresh air and gush about how fantastic “Post Ironic State” Were. Honestly, I was that blown away.

The anticipation was growing. I know how important tonight’s gig was going to be for them. Riding on the confidence that the brilliant reaction from the music loving Post Punk Goths everywhere. Protagonists is a breakthrough album for IST IST and the high chart placing it has received. Has ensured capacity audiences for the rest of the tour. That kind of confidence can never be bought it can only ever be earned.

IST IST have worked hard to fill a lot of musical gaps, indeed heralding the New Wave of the New Wave. Both of tonight’s bands came from the same creative space. Bringing the two bands together was a stroke of genius by whoever pulled this one together. As the IST IST started to soundcheck and warm up, King Tuts became rammed, Understandably. IST IST are the future of Rock N Roll and keeping alternative culture alive with fucking amazing music. I was just as excited to take in my first IST IST performance. I couldn’t help thinking about the friends that I have in Heaven that would love the whole “IST IST” Experience. Also as I stated before, “Protagonists” has been on a loop since its release so have had ample time to take in its charms. The life-affirming musical content has had time to enthuse and entertain me and lots and lots of other people too.

Indeed IST IST have a massive theatrical presence, coming on stage to a stage filled with dry ice. Four shadowy figures picked up their instruments and opened with the first track of “Protagonists” Stamp You Out it’s opening riff was sounded, IST IST’s audience were with them 100%. Adam Houghton’s voice is a thing of beauty in a dark romantic Northern English kind of way and just like Jai from Post Ironic State, Andy’s amazing vocals go straight to the heart.

I was totally taking in the genius of Mat Peters the multi tasking Synth Wizard and blistering guitarist, Mat has a side hustle of creating Ambient soundscapes, This is it with “IST IST” All of the band ooze sex appeal as they create music that is infectious and quite simply brilliant music I loved loved loved my first “IST IST” live experience, It was really really packed though which limited the dance moves,. But this is what the “IST IST” do to me, they inspire my inner dancer, Dark emotive and soulful. The Bass Player Andy Keating has a striking presence, looking like a young slim Oscar Wilde, beaming in from an alternate reality. Protagonists live, just like the album, was a thing of beauty to behold.

The whole night was just amazing, I look forward to seeing IST IST’s rise to arenas, With music this powerful, it cannae fail. There were journalists and photographers from the massively established press in attendance tonight. I think tonight’s performance will become part of the IST IST legend as the gig just before megastardom.

Without a doubt a historical musical performance that we will read about for years to come. A fantastic night out of life-affirming creativity. Fantastic work ❤
Divine Approves ❤

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Speedie

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