Idles – in concert a La Cabaret Vert – Charleville-Mézières, France – August 25, 2018 – RFI –
Idles in concert at La Cabaret Vert 2018 and recorded on August 25th.
I first became familiar with Idles via Chris Hawkins’ BBC 6 Music show and hearing Well Done for the first time – and have loved them ever since. Not your average present-day band and not a Punk band – but a band with an insane amount of energy and spontaneity and it works on every level.
Idles formed in Bristol in 2009. The band consists of Joe Talbot (vocals), Mark Bowen (guitar), Lee Kiernan (guitar), Adam Devonshire (bass) and Jon Beavis (drums).
Frontman Joe Talbot was born in Newport, Wales, and spent his late teenage years in Devon. Talbot and bassist Adam Devonshire met in sixth form college in Exeter. Talbot and Devonshire then both moved to Bristol where they studied at the St Matthias Campus of the University of the West of England and decided to start a band. According to Talbot, “It took us a long time to get productive because we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing at all, we were fucking terrible for a long time.” Talbot and Devonshire went on to open the Bat-Cave Night Club in Bristol. Guitarist Mark Bowen moved from Belfast to study in Bristol and met Talbot while on the DJ circuit.The band’s first release was the Welcome EP in 2012. By 2014 the band comprised Talbot, Devonshire, guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan, and drummer Jon Beavis. They released a second EP, Meat, and Meta, an EP of remixes, in 2015, and then started writing songs for their debut album.
After the 2016 singles, “Well Done” and “Divide & Conquer”, the band released their first album, Brutalism, in March 2017 to critical acclaim. DIY magazine, gave it 4 stars, calling it “An exhilarating escape along frenzied rhythms and powerhouse rhythms with a ferocious commentary for guidance…as vital as it is volatile.” The Line of Best Fit website gave it 9/10, calling Idles “one of the most exciting British bands right now”. It received an 8/10 from PopMatters, with Ian King calling it “bracing, caustic, and relentless”. Uncut gave it a similarly positive review, calling it “A rare rock record with the rage, urgency, wit and shattering of complacency usually found in grime.” Talbot’s mother died after a long illness while the band was working on the album, and is pictured on the cover, along with a sculpture by Talbot and his father. Her death gave Talbot and the band a new focus. They toured to support Brutalism, and supported The Maccabees on the London shows of their farewell tour, as well as supporting the Foo Fighters for the O2 Arena’s 10th Birthday.
After several festival appearances throughout Europe, they began working on their second album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, which was released on 31 August 2018. Accompanying the release of Joy, the group created an exhibition in collaboration with HM Electric Gallery in London, taking place 30 and 31 of August 2018.
In 2019, the band was nominated for Best Breakthrough Act at the 2019 Brit Awards and later won the 2019 Kerrang! Award for Best British Breakthrough Act.That same year, Joy as an Act of Resistance was shortlisted for the 2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize. The band performed Never Fight A Man With A Perm at the ceremony on 19 September. In December, they played various shows across the UK, including a packed concert of 10,000 at London’s Alexandra Palace.
The band dropped a new single, Mr. Motivator, in May 2020, leading up to Talbot announcing their third album, Ultra Mono, in June, on Steve Lamacq’s Radio 6 show. It will be released on 25 September on Partisan.
If you aren’t familiar, hit the play button and start now.