IDLES continue to prove that they are arguably one the worlds best live bands whilst simultaneously highlighting the importance of live music.
This Saturday saw one of the most hotly anticipated shows in Cornwall unfold, Spectres, Black Honey and IDLES were about to play the iconic Eden Sessions. A place where I have personally seen Blink 1.8.2, Motorhead, and Queens Of The Stone Age. The backdrop of the biomes makes it a unique experience to say the least. To add IDLES to the bands I have seen at this outdoor venue is a true privilege.
Support acts Spectres and Black Honey provided a great energy that warmed the crowd up brilliantly, particularly Black Honey, a band I have been extremely eager to see live for a while. Black Honey did not disappoint and played a strong set that saw songs from their latest album ‘Written & Directed’, a self-proclaimed Tarantino inspired album, that has hip swinging riffs, stunning vocals from singer and guitarist Izzy, and levels of cool that would make Mr. Freeze feel jealous. There is much to be adored about Black Honey and their live show solidifies them as one of the most exciting up and coming rock bands.
It’s safe to say that IDLES have become a much different band and unit since my first experience with them back in 2018, in a small 300 cap venue called The Hub (RIP) in Plymouth. Since that time they have released multiple singles, and had two highly successful albums. Not to mention becoming a cultural phenomenon and a voice that resonates with a variety of people. The one thing that however has remained is that IDLES are a formidable live band that excel when put on a stage, you cannot help but find yourself wrapped in the unified madness and intensity of their performances. However even through the intensity there is always an aura of unity and love that runs through their shows, especially since the release of their rallying album ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’.
IDLES now have three albums that convey three emotions or atmospheres, ‘Brutalism’ is IDLES at their most intensist, even angriest. ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ shows them taking their anger and turning into love, begging the listener to not give in to hatred and stand unified against the bullshit of the world, and ‘Ultra Mono’ is IDLES at their most confident, it’s an album that is in ode to their achievements, it’s a celebration. All of this energy can be felt at an IDLES concert and was on show at their Eden Sessions set with aplomb.
Opening with the slow building pressure cooker of a track ‘Colossus’, building slowly till the point of explosion. Joe Talbots snarls backed by the growls of bassist Adam Devonshire created a frantic, high octane experience, something that was felt to the very end of the set. Bowan and Lee found themselves in the audience at many points during the show, as expected, both members showing their characteristic flair on stage, swinging and throwing themselves around frantically. The true strength of IDLES, as always coming from drummer Jon Beavis, who is nothing short of a unit on the cans. All these elements blend to create an experience that as I type is giving me goosebumps. For a moment, between the jumping, singing and shouting a rush came over me. I realised I was once agains stood in a crowd full of people smiling, laughing, cheering, singing, holding each other in unity, all in one place enjoying live music in what has been a long and quiet two years.
It highlighted the importance of not just IDLES but live music in general, we as humans, especially in a world filled with fake news, confusion, hatred, and bigotry need a place to unwind and enjoy music that resonates.
Throughout their set IDLES treated us to a wide set that cascaded through their back catalog, tracks such as ‘Mr. Motivator’, ‘Danny Nedelko’, and ‘Divide & Conquer’. It was a true IDLES experience that gave fans new and old something to be excited about. The final track also saw supports Spectres and Izzy of Black Honey join them on stage for a last hurrah, a sonic explosion that was truly bewildering. Watching all these talented musicians jam out their frustrations was nothing short of brilliant to watch.
As the stage lights came down and the noise ceased a roar came from the crowd, who just like me knew they witnessed something special. It was a truly magical experience that was soundtracked by one of the most important and brilliant bands to have arrived in the last decade. Long live IDLES and long live UNITY.