Iceage comes to Scotland – 'It's usually a great place to get smashed in'

This article is from 2017


credit: Cali Dewitt

Danish punk quartet take centre stage at Summerhall

Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is in LA, where it's pretty early in the morning when I call to talk to him. He sounds tired. He's not up for idle chit chat. Asked if he's played during the Fringe before, he's confused. 'Played during what?' I move on.

As frontman of Danish punk quartet Iceage, he's been in the game for a while – the group formed in 2008 when the average age of their members was 17. 'As we grow in life, for better or worse, so too does the music,' he says. 'Some would argue this is also for better or worse.' It's difficult to tell whether Rønnenfelt is self-deprecating or unimpressed. He 'doesn't want to be involved in the conversation' when it comes to comparisons to Nick Cave and Pete Doherty; either unwilling to compare himself to such big hitters, or because it's not up to him to decide. 'That's what the critics do,' he says, 'and I usually don't really care for that either.'

Iceage's show at Summerhall is part of Nothing Ever Happens Here, the year-round series of gigs fighting to provide Edinburgh with a music scene, whose Fringe programme is, year on year, becoming the stuff of legend. Their show, says Rønnenfelt, comes after they've just finished an album, the title of which he can't (or won't) reveal, nor does he want to talk about it: 'I'd rather leave most of it as a surprise.' He does concede, 'we're laying final touches to it at the moment, and everybody in the band is tremendously excited for what we've done. It feels that we entered some new places. It feels like something new.'

Rønnenfelt perks up when talking about performing live, however, particularly in Scotland. 'It's usually a great place to get smashed in,' he laughs, and is excited to see what audiences get out of the Iceage NEHH show. 'Some might hate it, some might love it, some might connect with it, some might disconnect with it. That's the beauty of it, I think.'

Summerhall, 5 Aug, 7pm, £16.50.


Danish quartet, currently touring their new album Seek Shelter.