Its 5:20 on the Saturday at the downs festival and IDLES are warming up and plugging in, as the tensions build, the anticipating crowd buckle up for the return of the Bristol bred band back in their hometown.
IDLES explode on stage and the crowd erupt, Mark Bowen springs out in his usual attire, wearing just his undies, and Joe Talbot walks truly towards centre stage and stairs with a stern powerful expression into the eyes of his victims , and as a grin cracks through his lips, IDLES begin with ‘Heel/Heal’ from their first album ‘Brutalism’
The mixer starts churning at the front of the mob and the population of crowd surfers starts increasing. Lee Kiernan and Mark Bowen do nothing to fight the irresistible urge to join in swimming across their sea of fans. As the Bristolian pride builds, we are met with the hit ‘Danny Nedelko’ from their most recent album ‘Joy is an act of resistance’ that speaks about the immigration issues that we are facing in the UK and it is here we are blessed with a cameo from the man himself Danny Nedelko. The Heavy Lungs front man enters the stage on the shoulders of Joe Talbot.
Joe stands front and centre staring into the souls of HIS people from HIS city. The IDLES disgust at the political state of our country grows stronger and we are reminded before every song that ‘this is an anti-fascist song’. The IDLES pour their messages of love and resistance over their homeland once more. The gig concludes and we are met by a luminous return to the set list, the not yet released ‘where’s my ice-cream’. The IDLES performance comes to a fitting end with the final track ‘Rottweiler’ off their latest album.
As this was the last festival gig IDLES will play this year, they ended the long road with a nuclear explosion and the mushroom cloud of passion from these 5 lads from Bristol will not fade for quite some time.
Words: Cane Valentine.