WARRINGTON band Ticnotoc have been making a big splash on the North West gig circuit over the past two years, not only thanks to their own dynamic shows, but also catchy backing slots with major punk bands 70s such as The Rezillos. and Penetration.
Now hometown music fans have another chance to see the band in action when they perform at Friars Court 2 on Friday November 26, alongside Midlands band Shackleford and Liverpool’s Broken 3 Ways.
Ticnotoc are Mark Hodgkins (vocals), Les Clark (guitar), Tony Fennell (guitar), Nick Cork (bass) and Jeff Padmore (drums), and apart from Widnesian Jeff, the rest of the band have lived in Warrington for over 30 years .
As frontman Mark explained, the genesis of Ticnotoc dates back to a brew and a chinwag four years ago.
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“I was in a band called Kill Pretty calling it a day when our drummer announced he was retiring,” Mark said. “Les was in a band called The Chacers that didn’t do much, so we were both looking to start a new project.
“Les and I met over coffee at Costello’s in Stockton Heath in 2017, and discussed starting a new wave/post-punk band. In March 2018, Ticnotoc became a real band when we played our first gig in Liverpool.”
Taking their name from a combination of an early song about the doomsday clock ticking around midnight, and their former bassist saying he had a clock that ticked but didn’t tick, Ticnotoc aims a sound reminiscent of the punk and new wave era of the late 70s and early 80s.
Their influences read like a call from the best bands of this exciting and revolutionary era, including Buzzcocks, The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, Blondie, The Clash and The Smiths.
In their early days, Ticnotoc were helped on their way with gigs in their home town at The Old Town House in Buttermarket Street. “We are so grateful to Jen, Garreth and Cait from the Old Town House for their support and for giving us the opportunity to establish ourselves in our hometown,” Mark said.
The band also made quite an impression when they joined good friends and punk legends Warrington The Graves for a fundraising gig in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society at The Saracen’s Head on Wilderspool Causeway in May 2019.
In early 2020, Ticnotoc were one of the first bands to latch on to the potential severity of Covid-19, with their barnstorming song Outta Control.
Lyricist Mark said: “Outta Control was written around the time there were reports of a mysterious new bug in a place called Wuhan. Even from the start, I had the awful feeling that it was going to spiral out of control. We wrote the song and performed it live for the first time at The Fat Cat Ballroom event in Warrington a few weeks before the first lockdown.
Although the lockdown proved to be a difficult time for all bands, unable to rehearse or play live, Mark says “the feelings generated by the times provided a rich source of material for songwriting”.
Among these was the anthem Liar Cheat, with Mark perfectly capturing the zeitgeist with caustic and explicit lyrics about politicians, written to fit a demo brought to the band by guitarist Les.
Looking ahead, Ticnotoc continue their gig at Friars Court 2 with a high profile support slot for xSLF (former members of Stiff Little Fingers) at The Salty Dog in Northwich on Friday 3rd December.
With these excellent Widnes ska veterans Zen Baseballbat also on the bill, this is an event not to be missed. After that, Jeff will be hanging up his chopsticks, so Ticnotoc is on the hunt for a new presence behind the kit as they head into what’s shaping up to be an exciting 2022.
Mark said: “We rehearse and record at Tuff Gong Studios in Longford Street. We already have a few recordings on Spotify and the plan is to record more songs so we have enough to release an album. We already have gigs and festivals booked for 2022, so it’s important to get a new drummer in as soon as possible.
For more information on the group, visit their website ticnotoc.com or check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.