Gig review: Idles at Stylus, University of Leeds

I cannot praise Idles enough. From their phenomenal release this year Joy as an Act of Resistance, to their much needed jolt of electricity and mayhem into the often stoic music show Later With Jools Holland, the Idles hype is real.

Idles. Picture: Lindsay Melbourne
Idles. Picture: Lindsay Melbourne

It’s an old cliché of ‘this is the show you should have been at’, but if you were unfortunate enough not to have attended the sell-out show at Leeds Stylus, you really really missed out.

Opening with Colossus, the slow build of the opening track from Joy as an Act of Resistance, you instantly knew the moment in the song where the tempo changes that the floor would go wild, and my word did it go wild.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The band crashed and danced and threw themselves around the venue and into the crowd, always looking like the whole thing could implode at any minute and now and again an amplifier or two did.

There was never any respite throughout the show, hurtling into Never Fight a Man with a Perm, Mother, Scum and Danny Nedelko in rapid succession.

When Joe Talbot beats his hand on his heart and grins into the audience manically, it is genuine love. You can see and feel the appreciation the band has for the fans and the reception they are receiving and declared;

“There are people out their using food banks, and you come and use your hard-earned money to see us. You don’t thank us, we thank you.”

Idles will most likely not be playing small venues for much longer, which of itself is a shame as the night was brutal intimacy, raw, loud and in your face.

Fans were invited to come on stage and play the instruments, crowd surf, sign along, join in, quite simply COMMUNITY.

After an amplifier gave way, an impromptu a cappella rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas was well, brilliant.

Go see this band, this is genuine sheer joy. A punk band that has had it as hard as you and will tell it how it is.