Percy Speak Their Mind On New Single ‘ICU’

Northern post-punk quartet release exciting, exhausting, and invigorating new single ‘ICU’.

Percy ICU

‘ICU’ is the latest release from Yorkshire-based post-punk band Percy. The band originally formed in 1996 and included ex-House Martins drummer Hugh Whitaker in their early lineup. Now on their third incarnation with the inclusion of synth player Paula Duck and drummer Jason Wilson, they have received support from BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, who has featured them in both his BBC Music Introducing Mixtape and the Tom Robinson Show. They released their third album ‘Monorail’ with the current lineup in June this year as a post-pandemic reaction to the rupture on our shared view of normality and ‘ICU’ is the first single to be released from it. 

With its barrage of guitar droning psych intensity and relentless off-beat drumming, ICU is a voracious track that burrows into your brain. Colin Howard’s vocals are a mix of Joe Strummer and Robert E Smith, as he sings about disinterest in the jargon of the system ‘Profit margins blah blah blah blah’ and ‘User feedback blah blah blah blah’. The megaphone vocal effect in the last verse adds another ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ element of control and restriction, “We will send you a survey if you care to partake”. It’s bleak stuff yes but with more than a hint of the absurd, harking back to the unique sense of humour that Howard grew up with on the council estates and in the Working Men’s Clubs of Sunderland.

“This is England, angry and exhausting but with the consolation of a giant pie with gravy to make it all better.”  

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Words Andrew Gutteridge