Ahead of their slot on the Avalanche Stage at this year's Download Festival, Naomi Penn talks to WSTR frontman Sammy Clifford about the band's exciting new plansWritten by Naomi Penn on 26th May 2018
Live Review: Idles
Megan Gibson attends a raucous gig from Idles
‘It’s beautiful to play in front of you all. It’s been like a bottle of pop that’s waiting there, angry for an hour‘ – Adam Devonshire, Bassist
Joe Talbot (vocals), Mark Bowen (lead guitar and backing vocal), Lee Kiernan (rhythm guitar), Adam Devonshire (bass and backing vocals) and Jon Beavis (drums) make up Idles, a ‘visceral’ post-punk band from Bristol. Although, I’ve heard Bowen travels down from London to rehearse after working in a dentistry practise on the side. After seeing Idles perform live @ Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, I do wonder if his patients realise that by night he is part of a self-proclaimed ‘angry band’ and if they saw him live, whether they would let him go near their teeth...
Building their fan base through establishing a club night in Bristol and further releasing their first debut EP, Welcome, in 2012, they have received positively enthusiastic music press, and now perform to dedicated fans on their recent and largely sold out UK tour for their debut album, Brutalism.
Hare and Hounds is not a big venue and a sold out gig is fairly comfortable, playing an advantage for Idles who gave a very intimate and personal show - mentioning UB40 as their favourite band, dedicating their song ‘Lover’ to them as to please the local Brummies. Majority of the audience were aged 40+, which was surprising, but shows how committed to the punk genre Idles really are. If you have the original guys who lived through the punk era at your gig, you gotta be doing it right.
“The melodies and rhythm are so super tight it is phenomenal how they keep it up for the whole set
But they are just ordinary men. Like I said, Bowen is a dentist, originally from Ireland, and Joe has a 4-year-old son as mentioned in ‘Stendhal Syndrome’. Unfortunately, in 2015, Joe’s mother passed away, but this fuels the album, and the passion can be seen through every song on stage. The album cover for Brutalism shows a monochrome picture of Joe’s mother that is also in the background of music video to their single, ‘Mother’. The video shows the pure, raw emotion as demonstrated on stage, as Joe smashes a table of china onto the floor whilst singing.
“The atmosphere felt very humble and sincere - there was nothing fake about the performance, about the lyrics or about the band individually
After the sweat and spit and passionate mosh pits, I left the gig smelling the stale stench of aftershave, feeling empowered to write political rants, but also growing a sense of who Idles really are - fucking amazing.