Sunday, 7 April, 2019 in Live Reviews, Music

Into Music Reviews: Idles – Albert Hall, Manchester

Act: Idles
Venue: Albert Hall, Manchester @Alberthallmcr
Date: 3 April 2019

Confession time, I got into Idles quite late. The tail end of Brutalism and their latest album Joy As An Act Of Resistance hooked me in. I have been addicted ever since. I even have a tattoo.There, I have confessed I am a huge fan of them.

I had yet to see the band live and with huge expectation and excitement I entered the wonderful Albert Hall in Manchester. Creaking floors, stain glass windows and a bench seated mezzanine level. An aged but wonderful setting.

With the fading light breaking through the old stunning windows. The support act for the evening, Crows, take the stage. Their debut album only having been released a couple of weeks prior, Silver Tongues. From the off it was clear they meant business and warmed the swollen crowd up extremely well. They were fantastic and definitely worth checking out live or the album.

The now dark Albert Hall was packed, anticipation at extreme levels. Idles take the stage and open with Colossus, the opening song from their latest album. A real builder, you could sense it, those that knew the song knew what was coming. “The pit” was forming circles as the song approached its raucous end. The foundations had been laid, it was unbelievable, a tidal wave of noise was unleashed.

From then on it, it was utterly relentless. 100 miles per hour, 100%. Guitarists climbing into the upper tier, members of the crowd on stage playing guitar, bodies crowd surfing and arriving at the well worked security frequently. The Albert Hall was in new realms of worship.

The crowd, a massive mix of young and old were in the palm of Joe Talbot’s hand. A fantastic juxtaposition of musical aggression with positive messages. This band are important and it’s plain to see.

All too quickly the set ender Rottweiler, a brutal, swirling song was in full flow. It was over, the lights up. For an hour and a half it had been an unstoppable force, now it had ended you could only feel love. Every person in the venue appearing to be blessed by what they witnessed. I certainly was. A truly outstanding band at the top of their game. My love for them has only deepened. Go see them, you won’t regret it.

Stephen Harley

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