From his reputation as a politically charged punk from Clapham and adorning more tattoos than I could subtly count without looking like I was staring, I knew Itch would have plenty to say in his interview before his first UK solo gig. Though he wasn’t as aggressive as his lyrics would suggest and focused most of his time talking about the future of music and most importantly love.
I thought the topic of HMV going out of business would fuel his anger, but he confessed that he wasn’t in love with the shop that could only offer “cheap deals on DVDs and the top 40 charts”. He believes that “music is going digital. We have to accept that and go with it”. He’s more concerned with making the downloading of music more legal to benefit those who are producing it.
Itch has just released limited editions of his EPs Manifesto Pt. 1: How to Fucking Rule at Life and Manifesto Pt. 2: We’re All in the Gutter both for free on USB drives at various locations around the UK. These can also be downloaded for free on his website. This supports his belief in the new digital direction for music and shows his dedication to making music “accessible”.
Itch is also playing his first solo headline gig at London’s Birthdays on 27th February, presented by Noisey. He said: “I’m excited to be back in my home town of Clapham and I’m excited to be headlining with some amazing new bands [Subsource and Animal]”.
Like the songs of Itch’s former band, The King Blues, his solo material is still politically strong from an anarchistic stand point, with lyrics such as “That’s fucked up like British beef” in the song Diplomat, commenting on current affairs.Though he was more interested in talking about the power of love songs: “It’s all about love, every song on the album is fundamentally about love. Love is the most important thing – to love one another. You gotta share the love though music.”
I was beginning to think the split from The King Blues had turned Itch soft, but he reassured me that in about thirty years time he would more likely be “escorted from the premises” of Buckingham Palace rather than be playing on top of them as Madness did for the Jubilee last year.
My faith in his loveable, anarchistic nature was restored!
Itch’s album is set to be released this May. Watch out for the songs Diplomat, Spooky Kids and Soul that I can guarantee will be in your head days after you listen to them.