Manchester`s powerhouse post punks IST IST arrive in the UK`s second city just under three weeks since the release of their latest album `Protagonists` on the latter part of this brief soiree in promotion of said album. 

There`s little fuss as the quartet take to the stage and head straight into the fairly hypnotic `Stamp It Out` from the new release. We have tracks like the thumping `Jennifer’s Lips` and intense `Silence` before the band take time to catch breath. There`s a couple of cuts lifted from the band`s second album `The Art Of Lying Now` with the bass led `Watching You Watching Me`and wonderful `Fat Cats Drown in Milk`. 

Three numbers from the recently released `Protagonists` album get an airing with the quite powerfully dystopian `All Downhill`, the quite intricate but wonderfully titled `Mary in the Black and White Room` along with the enthrallingly edgy `Fool’s Paradise`. We head back in time with the quite eerie `A New Love Song`, enthralling `Heads on Spikes`, dreamlike `The Waves` and the equally mesmerising `Black` 

This is the second time i`ve seen the band and they tend to let their music speak for itself but do acknowledge this near as damn it sold out audience with the pride that with each time they play Birmingham the crowd increases. The pick of the tracks from the homestretch for me were a live favourite and number that has finally been recorded `Emily` and the absorbing `You’re Mine` before they close with what I think is `Trapdoors` from the latest release.  

A few thank yous and the quartet exit the stage as we filter out into the cold night to digest the last seventy minutes of intensity. 

As with the last time I saw Ist Ist, they are a group whose live show although reflective and pensive at times is impassioned and needs a few hours to really seep into your subconscious before you can fully appreciate the subtilties and depth of what they share. If you appreciate new wave / post -punk bands such as Joy Division, B Movie and The Editors, then Ist Ist are a band for you. 

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