Tickets for tonight’s gig are in high demand, I know this because in the morning I checked the event page on Facebook to see if the set times had been announced, but all I could find was an endless stream of people leaving posts asking for any spare tickets. Luckily for me I purchased mine the day they went on sale. I’ve seen Idles twice before, first time was in Preston at The Ferret in April 2017 with The Blinders supporting, yeah I know, good line up eh, but get this, tickets were £3.50 (thanks to Brian for the lift there and back). I then had to wait another year to see them at Gorilla in Manchester back in April (review here), also on that day myself and Max (SR gigs ed) popped along early to have another chat with Joe and Bowen (interview here).

So to tonight’s show. I haven’t made it in time to catch support Heavy Lungs, sorry guys, but I am in plenty of time for Idles. As I walk through the doors from the venue’s foyer two things hit me, first the heat and second there’s just a wall of people as soon as I enter to the rear of the room. Now I know this venue quite well, so attempt to make my way down to the left hand side of the stage. Impossible, it’s way too full, but I suppose it’s my own fault for not getting in sooner. I opt to stay at the back.

The lights go down, the huge Idles banner at the rear of the stage lights up and the band come on to a massive cheer. No chat from the stage just straight into ‘Colossus’, and what a track to open with, I’ve got goose bumps already awaiting part two of the song, and when it comes, the place goes absolutely nuts, including the flinging of pints, which is beyond me, if you don’t want to finish your beer put it on the floor you dicks, don’t think you’re cool and funny, cos you ain’t!

By the time we get to ‘Faith In The City’ after ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ and massive sing-a-along ‘Mother’, the temperature has increased so I take a chance and leg it downstairs to the cloak room to hang my jacket. One person in front of me, result. But it seems the cloak room attendant is on a go slow, the bloke in front of me even looks round with amazement at how long it’s taking. Then by the time Mr Slow Mo takes my jacket I hear ‘I’m Scum’ permeating down the stairwell. This is my song so I leg it back upstairs and from the back of the room all I can really hear is the crowd shouting the lyrics at the top of their voices. There’ll be some sore throats in the morning.

After ‘I’m Scum’ there’s another chance for all of us to holla our hearts out to ‘Danny Nedelko’, followed by ‘Gram Rock’, ‘Divide and Conquer’, ‘Heel/Heal’. ‘Samaritans’ is a stormer of a song live and ‘Great’ gives everyone’s vocal chords another work out. The show is closed with full on rock n roll wig out ‘Rottweiler’. It’s been hot, it’s been brilliant and Idles are insanely intense to watch.

As I mentioned earlier I’ve seen the band twice before and both times even though the craziness on stage and tempo of the music works the crowds into a frenzy, frontman Joe has always managed them by letting them get to a point where everyone is having fun, the slightest inkling it’s going to fizz into dancing to a point of injuring others or hindering others fun, it’s nipped in the bud. Tonight’s show doesn’t have that, it’s too big to be managed in that same manner, which is a shame, but do I want to use this as a reason for Idles not being a bigger band, no, I want this band and their message to be heard far and wide, and if it means a few people going a bit too hard at the gigs, then so be it.

Idles AF. AIL. x

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Simon Zaccagni

‘Accidental Editor’ of Silent Radio from its inception in 2009 through to 2020. None of this was planned; I’ve never been in a band, never been part of the ‘music scene’ and never expected to be the gaffer of a music website with loads of dedicated music loving writers. I bought my first record when I was 8 and haven’t stopped buying since. I love crate digging for bizarre and weird stuff, but equally happy ploughing through press releases looking/listening for something I’ve never heard before.