Words: Kieran Webber | Header Image: BBC Music
We’ve been banging the IDLES drum since the release of their debut LP ‘Brutalism’, a barrage of post-punk goodness that transpired a society broken. Throughout the album their music you are taken on a journey through societal issues in the modern world, mental health, angst, anger, happiness and cathartics. It is truly a work of art and was my first experience with a band that I would fall in love with. From there the band would go strength to strength, blowing the minds of anyone that was lucky enough to watch them live. Mutters across the internet turned into full on wildfire and the name IDLES was becoming a frequent conversation topic.
Fast forward a few months and the band drop ‘Colossus’, the first single for their new album ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’. The slow building track that turns explosive is an instant hit and the hype train for the new album has left the station. Next up is ‘Danny Nedelko’ a track that received intense radio play and threw them into the limelight, it was an exciting time for the band and fans alike.
Watch IDLES play ‘Danny Nedelko’ at Glastonbury here:
Once the album was released the band pushed aside established corporate funded artists to the side and came in at number 5 in the album charts. A huge success for a grass roots band from humble backgrounds. This with a string of powerful interviews, Brit award nominations and a wild performance on Jools Holland made IDLES a household name. Some people relished in the band’s sound, a breath of fresh air in comparison to the clean, money fueled indie bands (cough 1975), others were not so impressed by their stomping, chaotic movement and gritty howls of Joe Talbot.
Even so the band pushed through, against all odds and have become one of the UK’s most successful live bands in the past decade. However, it was their recent Glastonbury set that has turned them into icons. It had long been a dream of the band to headline The Park stage and this year that dream became a reality.
The whole performance was an emotional journey that saw the a teary, nervous Joe Talbot fall humbly at the feet of the audience. At one point his wife and daughter came on stage to give the leadsinger comfort, it was a beautiful moment that will go down in Glastonbury history. Each band member put their very soul into the show, you could feel the raw, uncontrolled energy through the screen. One can only imagine what that was like in person.
On that day we saw a band that has worked relentlessly for 12 years, been through every shit situation possible make a dream come true. Their are few bands as well deserving of the praise they have been receiving. Watching the band smile, laugh, cry and stomp their way across The Park stage was a delight and afterwards it was clear that IDLES are true icons.
It’s not just their performance, sound or demeanour it’s their message. A message of hope, anger, frustration, joy and happiness. Together we are better, together we are stronger and IDLES might just be the glue to heal the divide in these trying times.
For fans of IDLES new and old be sure to head to ALL IS LOVE: AF GANG (IDLES COMMUNITY)