Discovered and celebrated, The Illicits are a band brilliantly fresh, beautifully raw and righteously real. A band making waves wherever they go, they have yet to release a long-form record yet they are selling out shows up and down the country. They've given us their match day playlist.

A heavy influence of seminal flavour, the playlist that comes from The Illicits is a well tuned selection that packs the pace in the way they are tearing through a scene. It's rebellious though triumphant. While grime may weave through football's zeitgeist of trends, this is a breakaway that brings a solid beat. Before we get into that, we got the backstory from a band genuinely winning over influential name after name. You can listen to the full playlist here.


In their words; "We are a 4 piece from Blackburn, Lancashire who have come up on music and football. We’re influenced by the bands and genres of music that have become synonymous with football and working class life."

A lot of the bands we love were regular kids like the Roses and the Mondays who learned their craft on the dole in the 80s but bands like ours don’t get that luxury nowadays and are all still working day jobs in order to make music and needed to finance that somehow (drummer is a hospital porter, guitarist an office junior and bass player and lead singer work in Nando’s). There are very few working class kids in bands nowadays it seems as the overheads of doing a band are so high in comparison to making music on a laptop in your bedroom but we believe that there is definitely an appetite for new bands out there right now."

"We started the band in 2016 and since then had been writing, rehearsing and performing locally... we were then spotted at a gig in a music venue called Sunbird (a former bank that has now been converted into a bar) by local lad Gary Aspden who sent our music over to Alan McGee. We were subsequently signed to McGee’s record label ‘Creation23’. Since then we have sold out two hometown shows, been picked up by 13 Artists and SJM concerts, been the first band to appear on Soccer AM without releasing anything and are set to release our debut 7” single on May 17th which has now almost sold out purely on pre-orders.

It’s all going in the right direction so far. We want to sell 7” singles and gig for the time being (we recently supported The Zutons and the DMAs). We are not against streaming but before we put our music out on the streaming sites we want to get our foundations right."

Our hometown like lots of other towns all over the UK has been hit badly by austerity – it’s gonna take a lot to regenerate it - lot of empty mills and boarded up shops but there are still solid people there. The older lads tell us how good it was when they were younger but those days are gone. We haven’t given up on our town – we are proud of our roots.

Lots of the pubs have now gone here and we don’t even have a nightclub in Blackburn nowadays. Having said that, there has always been good people and a strong do it yourself attitude here that dates back to Acid House and before. There is a thriving little music scene of young bands (the Ruby Tuesdays are one of number of great local bands) with a couple of former commercial properties being converted into independent music venues – like the Electric Church in Blackburn and Sunbird Records in Darwen. These places provide an outlet in the town that is crucial in the current climate - somewhere for youths with guitars to get things off their chests. 

We made the video for our debut single on no budget upstairs in our mates mill using local director Aaron Dunleavy, ‘Lookers’ local car dealership have given us a van, we rehearse in the Electric Church and have had the council, local press and Blackburn Rovers supporting the cause. The big cities aren’t without their problems but towns like ours really have been hung out to dry over this past decade - we can’t see major tourism or any investment coming into Blackburn anytime soon but we want to do whatever we can ourselves to try and energise the place.

As lads from Blackburn we have naturally come up following Blackburn Rovers. We’ve all been fans since we were kids, held season tickets and have followed both home and away. The video for our debut single has been getting played at half time on the big screen at Ewood Park which as lifelong fans is a massive honour.


The Jam - In The City
Gets the adrenaline going - The Jam at the their most raw and energetic. Love this band.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Servo
An upbeat psychedelic track with a simple catchy melody and great groove.

Oasis - Turn Up The Sun
A great set opener there with driving guitars. I have heard that Andy Bell’s original lyric said ‘I carry the sadness everywhere I go’ and when Liam came to sing it he switched ‘sadness’ for ‘madness’. Might be a myth but it’s a great story either way.

The Black Keys - Lo Hi
Rock n roll tune with an anthemic chorus.

Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK
Still sounds as fresh as the day it was written 40 years on. 


The Prodigy - Outta Time
Massively driven, gets you going no matter what the result.

Underworld - Born Slippy
Classic 90s anthem from before we were born - the 90s were a great time for Blackburn fans too.

Happy Mondays - 24 Hour Party People
The title says it all. No one remotely like the Mondays and this is one of their best.

The Beatles - Come Together
It’s harmonious - bringing people together should be a mantra for these times we are living in.

The Stone Roses - Mersey Paradise
An anthem through and through, feel good to the core. Written by Ian and John after a day out by that notorious northern river.

"The memory of BRFC that stands out the most and will always feel sweetest would have to be David Dunn’s last minute equaliser against Burnley in 2013, it will take some beating... we’ve never experienced anything else quite like it. As things stand the club has a good feel around it at the minute, we’ve come back up to the championship and it looks like we’re going to consolidate our position. There’s a definite work in progress there, the club has more stability and things are on the up."

Heading out on the road on the 'Post Industrial Summer Tour' the band will hit the following places:


Tickets are available here. You can listen to the full playlist, here.