- 12 Jul 19
Photography: Colm Kelly
Not many live acts could start a mass mosh pit with their first song and maintain that energy throughout their entire set. Idles are different.
Delivering fast-paced abrasive punk, the Bristol band were even better live than on record. Frontman Joe Talbot is a mic spinning, spit spewing animal while performing, bouncing around with restless energy. Also, Idles' dark yet wickedly funny lyrics grow in intensity when screamed back at them by 4,000 people.
In between songs, Talbot was like a preacher delivering impassioned sermons. He complimented Ireland's rock scene and for repealing the 8th. He discussed how his band's music is pro-immigration, pro-LGBT rights and anti-fascist. He also heart-breakingly talked about his daughter, Agatha, who was stillborn.
In lesser hands, these topics could be too heavy for a punk gig. Yet Idles' music is about trying to find happiness in a harsh world. As such, these moments felt of a piece with the band's work. Plus, you could never criticise the group for being didactic in terms of their social activism. Their tunes are made with too much skill. 'Mother' is electric live thanks to its relentless guitars and sharp lyrics: 'My mother worked seventeen hours seven days a week / The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich."
Later, Idles brought back support acts The Claque (featuring Girl Band's Alan Duggan) and Aussies Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever for a bombastic rendition of 'Exeter'. If the crowd wasn't already won over, they were when the group incorporated lyrics to The Cranberries' 'Linger' into 'Love Song'. With their latest Dublin show, Idles certainly lived up to their name.