Zico Chain are making steady progress through the ranks, since playing Download Festival last year they've supported the Deftones, recorded their debut full length album and embarked on an extensive headline tour of the UK. Word seems to be spreading too as there is a healthy crowd in Manchester's Retro Bar.
Kicking off with your best song might be a bad idea but Zico Chain are confident enough in the strength of their material that they have no qualms about unleashing the excellent 'Rohypnol' first. For a three piece they make a hell of a noise and combine it with great energy, it's engaging but most of the crowd are content to stand still and watch from a distance before vocalist/bassist Chris encourages them to come to the front. Zico Chain are just a great rock and roll band, mixing elements of punk and metal and always managing to find a catchy chorus. There are some sound problems tonight, particularly with the onstage monitors, which visibly annoys Chris although drummer Ollie seems oblivious to it as he pulls a succession of amusing faces and turns in a nitrus oxide fuelled performance.
The set is a mix of songs from last year's mini album and newer tracks from the forthcoming full length release. The newer songs (such as 'Food') fit well with the old and older fans will be glad to learn that there's certainly no let up in pace. 'Social Suicide' and 'Nihilism' also impress and although they get a good crowd reaction nobody is brave enough to get moving down at the front. Guitarist Paul is on good form and the whole band come across well as a unit although they do slow down the stage show half way through, which is no surprise given the frantic pace they began with. By the time they reach the set closer, Chris has obviously had enough of the sound problems and urges the crowd never to come back to this venue before throwing his mic across the stage, launching the mic stand into the wall and storming off the stage. Zico Chain are a good band with some really killer hooks, check them out at Download this year, where hopefully they won't have the same sound problems they encountered last year!