We caught up with guitarist/vocalist Neil to give us the lowdown on Ice Cream Headache, a fantastic alternative/progressive band who perform locally.
PERFORMING IN THE MAIN AUDITORIUM AT 2PM ON 13TH JANUARY…
So what’s the story behind the band name, Neil?
I wanted a kind of ironic name, and we were almost called “Brain Freeze” but I thought that that was a little too MEEEETAAAAL and gave the wrong impression, so it was decided we would be Ice Cream Headache. Which is ironic, because I hate ice cream.
That’s fair enough! How did you guys get together?
We have all previously been in bands before. I was in a similar (albeit more immature) version of what ICH is now – a couple of our songs were demoes that I jammed with a few friends until we found the power trio that we have now. Jules (bass/vocals) and I are based in Peterborough and have been friends and collaborators for over a decade, whilst Glyn (drums and beautiful eyes) is originally from Wales, but based in Royston (“we didn’t burn him!”) Our home is Peterborough, but we rehearse in Wyton just outside Huntingdon – it’s about half way for all of us.
And where does your sound come from?
Well we all have difference influences, which I think is why we sound like a mish-mash of all of them. Primarily prog rock bands and noisy rock bands – some main influences for me personally would be King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Gentle Giant – all the early 70’s prog bands. My absolute hero is Captain Beefheart, and also I own all of Frank Zappa’s albums. I’m also a huge fan of Soundgarden, Primus and Vile Imbeciles – and I’ve spent my life trying to discover the oddest and most eccentric music I can.
I’m equally inspired by the naive beauty of “outsider music”. I would say “Ice Cream Headache” are the grandchildren of “the Cardiacs”. But as a band that applies a lot of music theory – all our songs consisting of either “modes” or irregular time signatures – I would say that I learnt a lot from jazz and classical music.
We also have influences ranging from McCluskey and QOTSA to Tool and Radiohead, plus a band we’ve recently discovered called “Tera Melos” who are probably trying to create something similar to what we are, although our lyrics are more smutty and immature. I promise I’m a grown up really . We have been described as “wonk rock”, “Baby Prog” or “Prog Junior”, the latter being a personal fave.
Have you got any mad band stories?
The only “mad” story I can think of is… a few months ago we played a gig in Cambridge the day before my birthday. The crowd sang happy birthday to me, which was EPIC… but my guitar strap kept breaking constantly between songs and during songs, and during a solo the sound guy ran up with gaffer tape and stuck me back together. How very Spinal Tap, I hear you say! And then, after that gross-out-ness, the A1 south bound was closed, the diversion took us the wrong way and we had to take the back roads which ended up taking us about 2 hours to get home instead of about 40 odd minutes. Either that story, or the gig in Bedford where I got so drunk that I threw up in the car all over a pizza!
What would you say is your greatest band achievement?
Writing a song in my home and then sharing it with 2 other guys that have so much belief and faith in you.. that they work hard to learn the sometimes quite difficult to play song, you’ve thrown together in your bedroom (and the fact they want to play it in front of other people! And aren’t ashamed of you or the song or themselves!) is the greatest compliment and personal achievement that I feel I can have. Anything more than that is a bonus and I’m grateful we’re able to do this. I love playing live more than anything so every gig is also an achievement.
What does the near future hold for Ice Cream Headache?
Other than the Broadway gig on the 13th of January, we have a gig at the voodoo lounge in Stamford on the 26th and we a playing the juzbcuZ Festival in Leicester on the 21st April.
We have a self released CD on sale as a hard copy for £3 and it is also available for download –
Soundcloud: Ice Cream Headache
Twitter: Ice Cream Headache
Facebook: Ice Cream Headache
Youtube: Ice Cream Headache