Blackburn four-piece THE ILLICITS are back with their blazing new single “Modern Life”.


Fresh off the back of a packed out hometown show earlier this month, and hot on the heels of sensational earlier release “Feel It“, the amped-up new release blisters with live-ready, rollicking rock energy that nods to the genre’s pioneering past masters.

With fractious, looping guitar lines, relentless drum smashes and twangy, Britpop-tinted vocals, “Modern Life” tells a timely tale of a dilapidated and defective society. As songwriter and guitarist Brad Hayes explains:

“”Modern Life” promotes a voice of the disenfranchised youth. It best summarises our story as a band so far: razor-tongued lyrics, relentless energy and stadium-sized choruses. We rely on new writing tools to open up new avenues for social commentary. On this track we use a 12-bar blues, late ’50s-inspired guitar riff — most commonly used by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Eddie Cochran — to help shift our narrative to present times.” 

Written in the summer of 2022 in the band’s rehearsal room, the smouldering new track was recorded live at Prism Studios to provide its raw, punky edge, and produced by Shaun Lowe.

Blending scorching social observations with infectious riffs and mordant melodies, the new track sees the band hone in on their propulsive “terrace punk” sound as they bring the post-industrial imagery of their own northern towns to the fore.

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The Illicits are George Richards (vocals), Brad Hayes (lead guitar), Joe Mitchell (bass) and Matt Cottam (drums). With “Modern Life” arriving as just their fifth single to date, the four-piece have already amassed a cult following with their electric live shows in their hometown and beyond. As well as support slots with the likes of Liam GallagherPrimal ScreamDMA’sThe Zutons and Miles Kane, the Blackburn band have performed live on Soccer AM and appeared on both BBC North West Tonight and Steve Lamacq‘s show on BBC 6 Music

The band have also amassed praise from the likes of GigslutzNorthern ExposureLouder Than War and Dork, with the latter commending “there’s a lot going on, and a lot more to come”. Making a stir with a run of earlier singles released on sold-out vinyl-only runs via Alan McGee‘s Creation 23 label, raucous rock track “Left Behind” also featured Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones

Having played riotous live shows in Nottingham and London this Autumn, The Illicits also sold out a headline show at Blackburn‘s Electric Church in record time and by popular demand,  have announced two extra dates at their hometown venue for this December.  With tickets flying, bag yourself one here. The Illicits will also be playing a headline set at Glasgow‘s Hug & Pint in December. Full dates and details below. 



02 – Electric Church, Electric Church  ** NEW DATE ADDED **
03 – Electric Church, Electric Church  ** NEW DATE ADDED **
07 – Hug & Pint, Glasgow