Photo: Simon Holliday
Amidst our city’s community and DIY ethos, Bristol four-piece LICE began their rise with a string of nights at The Crofter’s Rights and Louisiana. The unforgettable, inimitable energy of these live shows caused word to spread fast and soon the band were spilling themselves across the live scene, swallowing gig-goers up with their scuzzy, punk waves and ranted stories. “Everyone’s been very nice to us,” says frontman Alastair Shuttleworth. “Their kindness in helping us inflict ourselves upon more and more innocents has been heartwarming.”
Fellow bands have since caught the bug, securing them support slots with the likes of Van Zeller, Bad Breeding and Spectres. “Bristol is full of incredibly talented artists and it’s felt very special getting to play with them and see them at our shows,” he adds.
Alongside LICE’s growing reputation is their complex and original sound which flitters between punk, acoustic and progressive rock. The band explain that many of the stories behind their lyrics are inspired by Ben ‘The Rebel’ Wallers of Scottish art punks The Country Teasers. Other influences include The Birthday Party, The Fall and The Wild West – all of which come together to provide a beguiling sound.
This year has gone at an accelerated pace for LICE with a number of noteworthy shows, including their halloween performance in The Crypt, our stage at Simple Things and Howling Owl Records’ fifth birthday boat party with Auto Bitch and Milo’s Planes. Alastair says that the band have “wanted to do a Howling Owl show for ages” and when the call came, it was an instant highlight. “We were just floating about on the river screaming at kayakers and people on the banks, it was great.”
As 2016 comes to a close, LICE are without a doubt one of Bristol’s most exciting new acts; we expect big things from them in 2017.
LICE’s debut release NUTMILK: The Basement Demos is out now on red cassette via Wintermute Tapes, available at Rise Bristol. They play Exchange on 3rd December with The Rebel of Country Teasers and Melt Dunes.