IQ Resistance launch show Islington Assembly Hall, London - September 7th, 2019

I have been a fan of many of IQ’s albums since around 2007 but I have seen them live just twice including this show. The show is not part of a tour nor is it a launch party but a one-off launch show for their tenth studio album ‘Resistance’ and around 2000 people are packed in the Islington Assembly Hall to celebrate the release. I will not be mentioning the entire setlist, but a selection of songs played that evening.

 

The band opened with ‘From the Outside In’ from ‘The Road Of Bones’. It is not an album I have had a chance to digest fully but will certainly try to do so as this is a fantastic song.

 

Sacred Sound was the fourth song tonight and first IQ song I ever heard so it would be an understatement to say I was very pleased to hear it played. A definite highlight of the evening to finally hear it live.

 

‘Shallow Bay’ was the first of the new songs played tonight. Apparently, this was the first time these songs had ever been played live and they sounded fantastic, especially with the bass pedals throbbing

 

The best of the three new songs from ‘Resistance’ played is ‘Stay Down’. It features a wonderful acoustic intro with ticking clock samples and bass pedals before getting heavier about half-way through. This may be one of the best IQ songs I have ever heard.

 

Ryker Skies from the Frequency album was another of the highlights. It has this wonderful quiet section with acoustic guitar and some throbbing synth sounds, and I loved how the visuals and green lights worked together.

 

‘For Another Lifetime’ is the longest of the new songs played and though not as good as ‘Stay Down’ is still a fantastic song with its eerie organ sounding intro and soaring guitar at the end.

 

The title track from The Road Of Bones was another highlight, the drums sounded immense on this and the simple oriental riff that carries the song sounded delicate and beautiful.

 

I was very impressed by the lights and the projections. Whoever made them did a fantastic job and should be credited. I was standing quite close to the mixing desk and thought the sound quality started off a little bit distorted at the beginning of the set but got far better and clearer throughout the rest of the songs and for that reason, I would have preferred ‘Sacred Sound’ to have been a bit later in the evening. The bass pedals sounded immense all evening.

 

The final highlight of the evening was from the 1993 ‘Ever’ album and was a long song called ‘Further Away’. I was not as familiar with this album as much as some of the others, but it is definitely one I will check out in the future as this song is fantastic.

 

It was great thrill to meet Mike Holmes, IQ’s co-founder and guitarist both before and after the show. I asked him to sign the new album for me and take a photo with me wearing my PHC t-shirt. I even gave him a business card.

 

This may have only been the second time I have seen them live but it felt so comfortable in there and everyone was so friendly that it was as though I had seen them ten times or more. I am looking forward to their next show in December when they come back to London.

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