Idles Bring the house down at a sold out Ritz with tickets exchanging hands for £100 outside.
Flick of the Finger ventured down to The Ritz in Manchester to cover IDLES, dubbed as one of the UK’s most exciting bands.
After their debut album ‘Brutalism’ which certainly put them on the map with Joe Talbot’s all empowering infectious lyrics, strong, yet sympathetic, delivered in a fury of power and passion rarely seen on stage nowadays. Talbot writes about things from his heart, Love, Politics, mental health, grief, sexual gender, all given a voice, by a person who lays it down with the belief someone who can capture a moment, and let us all re-live it as it is. Understandably the second album “Joy as an act of resistance” has been highly acclaimed and rightly so, debuting at number 5 in the UK charts.
The anticipation surrounding this gig has been building in the last few weeks, having only 5 months earlier sold out Gorilla facing tonight’s venue, the talk at the time was they where about to embark on bigger and better things. If you went on the fan sites FB pages the list of fans clamouring for tickets was endless, for the first time in a long time the touts where having a field day, tickets outside where changing hands for up to £100, over 5 times the original cost. As far as the Idles go, it seems the secret is out.
As the tension built in the Ritz along with the heat. Heavy Lungs are the support for the evening, and certainly warmed the crowd. After a slow start the band opened the throttle, and were a fitting opening act.
One of the things that the band openly promotes is being approachable, so it was great to see the band covering their own merch stand, as well as in the crowd watching the support act, whilst chatting and having pictures with the fans. Up front and personal.
As the venue lights drop and Talbot takes to the stage in the near pitch black limbering up like a caged tiger waiting for its daily feed, as the band start the open stages to a low key version of “Colossus” and Talbot building the tension by Yelling, “Its coming, Its coming” as the two guitarist join the rest of the band on stage, the pin is pulled on the first Grenade, the venues erupts into a giant mosh pit with a frenzy I have not seen in a long time. The barrage of hi octane guitar and driving bass being head together by a drum beat, that keeps them all in check, above all this Talbot is the front man supreme, powerful yet thoughtful in lyrical delivery.
Talbot keeps the pressure flowing, hurling through “Mother”, “I’m Scum” “Danny Nedelko”, and Gram Rock. All the time informing the crowd of each songs meaning and talking about current issues definitely coming from his heart. The last person I have witnessed extending this much energy and conviction on stage is Billy McCarthy of the now defunked Augustine’s.
“Love story” was dedicated to having safe gigs for everyone, look out for each other was the message.
Talbot takes a moment to dedicate a couple of songs to local favourites Cabbage, who they recognise and thank for having faith and giving them a break, a nice touch one that wont have been lost on the band as they were right in the thick of things with the crowd, a nice touch and one that shows where this band are coming from.
Last up was the brilliant “Rottweiler” there’s something satisfying watching a band deliver an awesome set finishing with a track sang so loud by an audience who cannot get enough of these new icons of music, when you are on the balcony watching a 1000 people sing, at the top of their voices, Keep going! Keep fucking going! Keep going! Fuck ’em! Fuck ’em! Go! Smash it! Ruin it! Destroy the world! Burn your house down! The last lines from Rottweiler.
On a night when across town one of the biggest bands in the world where playing the arena. Idles held their own magic as U2 Played to there ever loyal support. Only time will tell if Talbot and co will elevate to arena status, on this epic showing, I wouldn’t rule it out.
If you can get to see these guys as soon as you can.