IDLES + CROWS – BRIGHTON DOME CONCERT HALL 29.03.19
Thursday 12 April 2018 is a date which will forever be in my annals of musical regret as the day I could and really should have seen IDLES play live at the 100 person capacity Ramsgate Music Hall. But instead I had stupidly chosen not to purchase a ticket despite having it sat in my basket and ready to checkout.
Fast forward virtually a year and tonight was to be my first time seeing them perform live at the significantly larger Brighton Dome. I missed their trip to the Concorde 2 at the latter end of 2018 with my preferred gig on that night being The Lovely Eggs at The Haunt. By all accounts I am led to believe that I have missed two cracking IDLES gigs, but here I was hoping to gain some compensation for my previous faux pas.
IDLES are a band on pretty much every music aficionados radar. Their unique brand of left- wing punk, though I understand they don’t like being called a punk band hence why I called it unique, has taken the music world by storm, as they continually knock down all the barriers placed in front of them and their followers.
Their recent performance on Soccer AM was amazing considering it was only 10 o’clock on a Saturday morning and I defy any band to be so full of energy at that ridiculous hour. Only last month I witnessed IDLES bass player ‘Dev’ disc jockeying until the early hours in Hastings, (read my review HERE) proving that the 24-hour clock is irrelevant in the life of a Rock ‘n Roll star and they can perform as and when required.
The hype that I had built up inside my head about tonight’s gig was boiling over as excitement levels had reached a high for a 2019 gig thus far, having had a four month build up. Would my expectations of a joyous gig and a brutal mosh pit that I would not be able to resist, be fulfilled?
When I booked my ticket, I had misread the line-up and actually thought that Life were supporting, a band that I had seen last year and were really good. Once I realised my error and that they are actually supporting IDLES elsewhere on the tour, I familiarised myself with the actual band playing tonight, four men from North London named Crows. After a few years on the circuit, they have only just got around to releasing their debut album ‘Silver Tongues’ on March 22nd and on this viewing it was worth the wait.
Tonight, they treated us to five songs from the album, opening with the title track which set the tone for a great set. The majority of their gigs have been in smaller intimate venues, but they did not look at all out of place on tonight’s larger stage. Lead singer James doesn’t have to say much in order to ooze stage presence. His use of two microphones is impressive and highly effective. No fancy bright lights here, just your standard monochrome creating the perfect atmosphere for their dark captivating sound.
With hints of The Jesus & Mary Chain and Joy Division, the release of their album will hopefully see them more regularly appearing on the bigger stage in future. With an appearance set for ‘Latitude Festival’ in July this year, their future looks a lot brighter than their light show. There was a decent turnout for the support act with quite few Crows t-shirts on show.
I look forward to seeing Crows headline so I can see their full set. ‘The Itch’, a single released in 2016, was one of the highlights. ‘Is this sign of things to come?’ Let’s hope so. Their next appearance in Brighton is on May 4th when they will be with you at the much smaller Prince Albert. It should be a great evening if tonight is anything to go by.
They have been known for their chaotic shows in the past, but tonight was a far more measured performance, though I should imagine a room full of their own fans will see a return to the norm. I would particularly like to get involved in the Pit for the 110 second moshterpiece that is ‘Demeanour’. Get your tickets quick as they are bound to sell out after tonight’s impressive performance, where I can safely predict that they will have increased their fan-base.
James Cox – Vocals
Steve Goddard – Guitar
Jith Amarasinghe – Bass
Sam Lister -Drums
‘Silver Tongues’, ‘Demeanour’, ‘Wednesday’s Child’, ‘Empyrean’, ‘The Itch’, ‘Hang Me High’, ‘Whisper’, ‘Chain of Being’.
More Information: crowsband.com
I was stood dead centre, second row from the front as the main course for the evening (IDLES) took to the stage some seven minutes late as somebody stood next to me pointed out on more than one occasion. Suddenly the massive stage appeared a lot smaller with all the energy being created by the band oozing out into the crowd.
A nice slow start with ‘Colossus’ lulled me into a false sense of security and even when it reached the crescendo I was blissfully unaware of what would ensue.
As proceedings really got under way, I found myself almost being whisked off my feet on the dance-floor as the crowd swayed from side to side with little room for moshing. It reminded me of being on the football terraces back in the eighties, when they would often be jam packed, but at least you were outdoors and could breathe, whereas there wasn’t much air to be had here early on.
I eventually ended up in a decent mosh spot through little choice of my own for ‘I’m Scum,’ a song which according to Joe is a compliment to what people used to call him as an insult. The crowd were hotting up and I was already wishing that I had worn my kilt as was adorned by a few others, or at least shorts.
There was unbridled love for the crowd (AF Gang) and if anybody was in any doubt then we were reminded by Joe that IDLES have been pedalling love, compassion and empathy for the past 8 years. He also pointed out to all the raucous people down the front to be aware that those on the periphery may not want to join in, so love thy neighbour and if you can’t then leave, though in slightly stronger terms. I have never heard such compassion before, as most bands usually encourage the mosh pit. Still it didn’t put off the majority from creating havoc on the floor, in a friendly manner of course.
An IDLES gig is so much more than just music, but the music tonight was top notch with every song being sung with passion and the band members giving their all for the cause. Entertainment was at a premium. Probably only The Damned would be so crazy as to sing something totally inappropriate as ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, but that is what we got tonight and the crowd all joined in this acapella version. We were asked how long it was until Christmas but nobody knew so Bobo advised that it was about 376 days or thereabouts!
I would love to see IDLES play at De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill or The White Rock Theatre in Hastings, where in recent times I have been threatened with being ejected from the venue for mild moshing. I wonder how they would cope with all the crowd surfing that is synonymous with an IDLES gig?
Given this it is understandable why Joe gave a special thank you to the security who did not interfere with the mush pit (so much love in this crowd), especially as they had helped out somebody in distress down the front, though he did joke that hey had probably taken them out to give them a good kicking around the back. There was even a thank you for the bar staff for providing us with beer which is fair enough.
My obvious highlight of tonight’s gig was when Bobo and Lee made their way into the audience during ‘Exeter’ and promptly plonked themselves down right next to me. For this alone I can forgive Lee for wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt tonight, though probably not the Manchester United shirt he wore on their Soccer AM appearance! You would think it would be easy to take a photo when up close and personal, but trust me the excitement of everybody in the vicinity made it a tricky task.
Joe Talbot recently had a family addition and let us all know that he is in a happy place, so much so that even Sleaford Mods can’t upset him, but that’s another story. Really though what is there not to like about IDLES?
IDLES are all inclusive and have a song for everybody. The wonderful ‘Danny Nedelko’ was a celebration in itself bringing everybody together irrespective of race and was my favourite song of the night.
Before ‘Samaritans’ Joe talks about those who identify as non-binary being able to share their feelings.
‘Mother’ is one for all women who have had a child or want to or have had to live with a man who has been not very nice, again using a much stronger word, to them.
It was nice to even include a warning for readers of The Sun that it can cause a sometimes terminal illness
No encore was necessary. The extended version of ‘Rottweiler’ was a fitting finale to the set and everybody went home satisfied and in love with all that IDLES stand for, just like one big happy family. As for me I had forgotten about my missed opportunities to see IDLES and I was basking in the glory of tonight’s wondrous offering.
This gig was hardcore music for snowflakes. Readers of The Sun beware because as we witness most winters in Southern England, a few snowflakes can cause mass chaos. Stand proud for what you believe in. All is love!
‘Colossus’, ‘Well Done’, ‘I’m Scum’, ‘Queens’, ‘Great’, ‘Danny Nedelko’, ‘Divide And Conquer’, ‘1049 Gotho’, ‘Love Song’, ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’, ‘Mother’, ‘Faith In The City’, ’Benzocaine’, ‘Samaritans’, ‘Exeter’, ‘Television’, ‘Rottweiler’.
More information: www.idlesband.com
Read punk legend Jordan’s account of this IDLES gig HERE.
Read Richie Nice’s report of this IDLES gig HERE.
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