IDLES at The Iveagh Gardens, 11 July 2019
The outdoor leafy surroundings of The Iveagh Gardens were a fitting host for the very sincere breath of fresh air that is IDLES. A loving, compassionate, honest bunch, bashing the ears off you with a thunderous chaotic rock sound. A band hungry to tackle social issues and far-right media, and to express the importance of opening up, all while being breathtakingly exhilarating.
The band build up to what is sure to be a relentless show with the rough and contained opener Colossus. The guitarists prowl around like dogs, as the song steadily and powerfully ascends, while getting heavier and heavier.
This is not like any ol’ rock gig. “Get some women in that circle or fuck off!” shouts singer Joe Talbot pointing to a mosh pit, making sure to immobilize any potential toxic masculinity in the audience. “Sharing your feelings may one day save your life,” he announces, before the band crash into 1049 Gotho.
Sing along fan favourites like Danny Nedelko and Samaritans particularly rile the rowdy masses with a sea of fists in the air. Talbot is a stunning force. Pounding his chest, slapping his face, spitting in the air, stomping on the ground and swinging his mic violently around like some sort of possessed crooner.
What is special about IDLES is the juxtaposition of the wild and the responsible. This band are like no other as they couple their fragile lyrical content with a ferocious sound and a relentless on-stage performance. At times it is pure carnage up there.
So far, urging people to be kind, compassionate and self-aware usually meant to be considered boring. But things are changing and Idles are at the forefront. They are telling us otherwise: You can be angry and compassionate. You can be responsible and wild. Responsibility is cool now.