Idles certainly put on a fantastic show and they are living up to the ‘antics’ name the venue has labelled the club-night.  They are a volatile bunch from the start. Between bursts of ferocious diatribe, with singer Joe Talbot driving each angry line through gritted teeth, he is spitting beer or  kicking guitarist Mark Bowen off the stage.  It’s not all one way though as Joe gets tackled to the floor, thrown, and even garrotted by a broken guitar string!  This doesn’t take away from the  barrage of noise emitted by every member though, the tussles and tackles on stage only add to the frenetic energy already created by the music. The crowd are brought into a pogoing frenzy during favourites of the night  ‘Divide and Conquer’, ‘Queens’, and latest single ‘Well Done’.  Idles seem to only play a gig one way and that’s full throttle.

You can feel Joe’s deranged and threatening stare during moments of relative calm on his part and while he is at the head of the stage.  He intensely scours the onlookers and fixates on individuals in the crowd, barking his vitriolic lines directly at you.  You can’t help but uncomfortably stare back, losing focus on the  more chaotic movements of other band members behind.  There is a brash charisma to their style and a relentless, brutal dynamic, they take your attention by force and keep it for the whole set.

The band are on their Christmas party, as hollered by drummer Jon Beavis as he orders a round from the bar during one of the minimal and very short breathers between songs and shown by the consumption of bottles of whisky and beer on stage.  They’re spending it away from their hometown of Bristol, and spending it in a glorious fashion.  The music and lyrics are uncompromising and passionate, delivered in an often maniacal manner, it’s raw, exciting and wild.  It’s exactly what’s needed from a punk gig.

Idles unfortunately won’t be back in Manchester next year while on the main leg of their tour for the upcoming album ‘brutalism’  but I’m glad for our special peek, and the treat of witnessing the last gig of the year for the band.  I am hoping that I may be able to see them again, possibly for another seasonal holiday special, I’d choose that holiday spirit over carolling any year.

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