In a time of polarised politics and murky waters; IDLES and bands like them are needed to remind people that it’s ok to dance and laugh and sing in the face of adversity.
Bristol’s finest post – punk polemics IDLES have been promising to do great things for some time now, and with their debut album “Brutalism” they absolutely fulfil that promise, and a furious promise at that.
Politically charged, refreshingly confrontational and infectiously volatile, IDLES are a band like no other. Bringing the unsettling reality of the world we live in into their frantic assault on the senses, they are a band that until now could only be truly understood by witnessing in a live environment but with “Brutalism” it surely feels like they have captured the intensity of that live sound. Bottled up here are the abrasive, memorable lyrics of Joseph Talbot delivered with all of the spite and wry humour he puts across on the stage.
Dedicated in part to the loss of his mother, who adorns the record’s cover, and partly to a perceived decimation of society, from the NHS to public services across Britain, “Brutalism” is a deadly serious indictment on popular culture – Mary Berry, Trevor Nelson and Rachel Khoo are just some of the names referenced here, often alongside the unpleasant, but always amongst the real.
The November 2016 release of single “Well Done” saw the band rise to no.1 on Spotify’s Viral Charts & paired with intensive radio support from Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, Steve Lamacq and regular Radio 6 play has brought them to the forefront of ones to watch. NME, CRACK, DIY and more have tipped them over the festive period and the quality here suggests there will be more plaudits to come when the album reaches the shops in March.
From the propulsive opener, “Heel / Heal”, and many highlights (“Well Done”, “Mother”, “Date Night”, “1049 Gotho”, “Stendahl Syndrome” just some) to the rare respite of the closer “Slow Savage”, the album marks the arrival of a true British talent – and in a musical world that can seem increasingly benign, one with so much to say.
8th – Komedia, Bath
9th – The Hub, Plymouth
11th – Chinnerys, Southend
12th – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
13th – The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
14th – Coventry Central Library, Coventry
15th – Bootleg Social, Blackpool
17th – G2, Glasgow
18th – Gorilla, Manchester
19th – Heaven, London
28th – Are You Listening? Festival, Reading
5th – Live At Leeds, Leeds
5th – Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool
6th – Handmade Festival, Leicester
26th – Bearded Theory, Walton Upon Trent
12th – Ironworks, Inverness (W/ Future Islands)
13th – The Tunnels, Aberdeen
14th – Usher Hall, Edinburgh (W/ Future Islands)
15th – Greenock Town Hall, Greenock (W/ Future Islands)
17th – Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin (W/ Future Islands)
15th – Latitude Festival, Suffolk
1st – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
2nd – Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
3rd – Bestival, Lulworth
4th – Visions Festival, London
9th – Boomtown Fair, Winchester
1st – Electric Fields, Dumfries & Galloway
2nd – End of the Road Festival, Salisbury