Saturday 2 July 2022
Bristol punks IDLES deliver a state of the world address with pummeling riffs and anger


It’s time to be angry.

When you have political turmoil and despair (and we do have quite a lot of that at the moment), you also have someone to comment on it.

No one does it better than Bristol’s IDLES.

IDLES has a shout-in-your-face directness that just works.

They play punkish rock music that compels you to pay attention. Or – to use the words of one critic – “IDLES might just be the most important guitar band in the UK”.

The five-piece tackled potent themes of white privilege and the state of the national health service in their 2017 breakthrough Brutalism, while their Mercury Prize-nominated follow-up, 2018’s Joy As an Act of Resistance, probed toxic masculinity, Brexit and the benefits of immigration. On their latest album, 2020’s Ultra Mono, they attack racial issues, sexism and right-wing characters. Tthe band has a new album on the way, and the first single ”The Beachland Ballroom” shows a more melodic and soulful side of the band.

IDLES’ energy shines as bright as ever, and the punk sound is a winning recipe not least because of their musicianship – which, if anywhere, is evidenced when the band plays live.

On stage, IDLES are a relentless force of churning energy and tumultuous sound. Joe Talbot’s gravel-dredging klaxon of a voice towers over the mix whilst the scabrous clash of Lee Kiernan and Mark Bowen’s guitars meshes perfectly with Adam Devonshire and Jon Beavis’s taut and precise rhythm section.

The Bristol band’s tightness helps to hammer their every message into the core of the audience.

Come be angry and cheerful all at the same time when IDLES return to Roskilde Festival.