WARRINGTON band Ticnotoc have been making a big noise on the north-west gig circuit over the past couple of years, not only through their own dynamic headline shows but also eye-catching support slots with big name punk bands from the 70s such as The Rezillos and Penetration.

Now, home town music fans have another chance to see the band in action when they play Friars Court 2 on Friday, November 26, along with Midlands band Shackleford, and Broken 3 Ways, from Liverpool.

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 more than 30 years.

As singer Mark explained, the genesis of Ticnotoc can be traced back to a brew and a chinwag four years ago.

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“I was in a band called Kill Pretty who were calling it a day when our drummer announced he was retiring,” Mark said. “Les was in a band called The Chacers who were not doing much, so we were both looking to start a new project.

"Les and I met for a coffee at Costello’s in Stockton Heath in 2017, and discussed starting a new wave/post-punk band. In March 2018, Ticnotoc became an actual band when we played our first gig in Liverpool.”

Taking their name from a combination of an early song about the Doomsday Clock ticking towards midnight, and their former bassist saying he had a clock that ticked but didn’t tock, Ticnotoc aim for a sound reminiscent of the punk and new wave era of the late 70s and early 80s.

Their influences read like a roll-call of the finest bands from that exciting and ground-breaking time, 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 home town gigs at The Old Town House in Buttermarket Street. “We’re really grateful to Jen, Garreth and Cait from the Old Town House for their support and giving us opportunities to establish ourselves in our home town,” Mark said.

The band also made a big impression when they joined their good friends and Warrington punk legends 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 onto the potential seriousness of Covid-19, with their barnstorming song Outta Control.

Lyricist Mark said: “Outta Control was written at the time when there were reports about a mysterious new bug in a place called Wuhan. Even from early on, I had a horrible feeling it was going to get out of control. We wrote the song and played it live for the first time at The Fat Cat Ballroom event in Warrington a few weeks before the first lockdown.”

Although lockdown proved a difficult time for all bands, being unable to rehearse or play live, Mark says that “the feelings the times generated provided a rich source of material for writing songs.”

Among these was the anthemic Liar Cheat, with Mark perfectly catching the zeitgeist with a caustic and self-explanatory lyric about politicians, written to fit a demo brought to the band by guitarist Les.

Looking ahead, Ticnotoc follow their gig at Friars Court 2 with a prestigious support slot to xSLF (former members of Stiff Little Fingers) at The Salty Dog in Northwich on Friday, December 3.

With those excellent Widnes ska veterans Zen Baseballbat also on the bill, that’s one not to be missed. After that, Jeff will be hanging up his drumsticks, so Ticnotoc are on the lookout for a new presence behind the kit as they head into what is shaping up to be an exciting 2022.

Mark said: “We rehearse and record at Tuff Gong Studios in Longford Street. We have got a few recordings already on Spotify and the plan is to record more songs so we’ve got enough to release an album. We already have gigs and festivals booked for 2022, so it’s important to get a new drummer settled in as soon as we can.”

For more information on the band, visit their website ticnotoc.com, or check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.