LIVE: Joe Talbot – Manchester Bread Shed

IDLES frontman Joe Talbot takes to the stage for at Manchester’s Bread Shed for the opening night of his ‘In Conversation’ tour. Joined by local legend Clint Boon, Talbot explored many facets of his storied life and career in music. 

Musical support for the night came from rising punk outfits Faux Pas and Witch Fever.  Both acts displayed a hypnotic level of ferocity than served to transcend, the admittedly odd, seated spoken word setting. 

As Talbot took to the stage the sense of energy in the audience was palpable, giving a rather ‘big-gig feeling’ to this intimate spoken word affair. First subject tackled was the health of Talbot, with the punk-rocker admitting to his own ill health, or as it was worded by the ever blunt Clint Boon, “hanging”. 

Talbot then proceeded talk about his childhood and the tribulations that came with his adolescence. Talbot spoke with grace and elegance about the issues he faced within his formative years and his own actions at the time. Special praise must be given here to Clint Boon for the professionalism and care her demonstrated throughout the night, and in particular in these sensitive areas. 

Other topics included the formation and rise of IDLES, the recording of their upcoming third album and his performance style, during which Talbot expressed his disdain for those he believed put on a facade when they performed. Talbot, went as far as to site his own sobriety as the main factor in his breath-taking performances, stating that he finds taking to a stage sober, “liberating”. 

The floor was then opened up for fans to ask their own questions. In-between the nervous laughs of fans, Talbot tackled issues such as remaining a ‘band of the people’ and the lack of women on festival line-ups, in particular Reading and Leeds as he called for wider societal change before attempting tackle the singular sphere of music. As the last bit of banter between Talbot and Boon died away, they exited the stage to a raucous round of applause. 

Joe Talbot’s live in conversation tour got off to an undeniably blistering start. Hosted expertly by Clint Boon, Talbot proved to be humorous, endearing and most importantly funny. Holding the crowd in the palm of his hand for the entirety of the event he showcased exactly why he is one of the road to becoming one of Britain’s most beloved musical figures.