In pictures: IDLES illuminate Brixton ahead of Northern UK dates
At long last, IDLES took over London’s Brixton Academy for a four-night residency like no other. Quite the juxtaposition - raw, inherent punk taking over one of London’s most cavernous rooms. A career-spanning, defiant set - that showcased the band’s full evolution from their roots to ambitious fourth instalment ‘CRAWLER.’
Joe Talbot and co. showed no signs of deviation from their usual on-stage antics, effortlessly dominating the space from top to tail. The timeless ‘Colossus’ built a typical yet gargantuan tension at the front of the set, before the crowd appropriately matched the chaotic energy of ‘Mr Motivator’ and the passion of ‘Mother’ - a necessary tribute to his ‘best friend’, explained Talbot.
‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ and ‘War’ were particular highlights from the set, with the latter being one of only a few tracks off Ultra Mono to make the cut. IDLES have described how certain sentiments in that album are merely fleeting memories, a reflection of contemporary anger that is now ready to be ‘burn[ed]’ and left behind, as guitarist Mark Bowen has asserted.
Enter Ultra Mono’s reactionary follow-up: CRAWLER. The driving, pounding rampage of ‘The Wheel’ was a particularly strong offering, second only to the spine-chilling ‘MTT 420 RR.’ A reflection on mortality following Talbot’s near-death motorcycle crash, the track silenced a raucous Brixton audience as IDLES gave such a breathtaking on-stage rendition. Lead single ‘The Beachland Ballroom’ sounded a little off-colour live, perhaps testament to the fact that this was just the second night of a colossal UK tour.
The inevitable ‘Danny Nedelko,’ a brotherly celebration of immigrants and multiculturalism, and ‘Rottweiler’ once again incited pandemonium down below, with an audience member hilariously doing the Mo-bot upon the line ‘A Polish butcher, he’s Mo Farah.’ A majestic end to a residency that will no doubt be remembered as the golden age of IDLES.
IDLES head to South Yorkshire next month, headlining O2 Academy Sheffield on Tuesday 1st February following three nights at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. Tickets are on sale here.
By Rishi Shah 18/01/2022
Photo Credits Rishi Shah