Review | Idles at Portsmouth Guildhall: 'A spine-tingling celebration'

A few years ago Bristol band Idles famously played the Pie and Vinyl Record Store Day in Castle Road to a few hundred bemused people.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 2:20 pm
Joe Talbot of Idles at Portsmouth Guildhall, September 12, 2021. Picture by Paul Windsor

More recently the band performed in front of 10,000 fans in a hometown show.

The famous AF gang fan club are here in strength – originally just a few hundred members that has grown to 30,000.

Not surprisingly the Guildhall show, held over like many others from last year, is a sell out.

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Now the band can command larger venues they are like coiled springs on stage.

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Drummer Jon Beavis and bassist Adam Devonshire hold down a hypnotic rhythm, lead singer Joe Talbot surveys the scene and then the spring is sprung and all hell breaks loose in the mosh pit.

Soon guitarist Lee Kiernan all flaying limbs, running round the stage like a headless chicken, needs no encouragement and is crowd surfing with the sweaty fans.

With tracks like Mother, Anxiety and Samaritans it's clear where the band palate lies, but done in such emphathetic manner its heartwarming to hear.

The biggest cheer though comes for Danny Nedelko, a song dedicated to all the country’s immigrants, which in light of Emma Raducanu's tennis triumph the night before was a spine-tingling celebration.

By now guitarist Mark Bowen, resplendent in a blue dress wants to join in the fun and its his turn to take his customary venture into the crowd.

Somehow among all this chaos the band keep it together with Talbot, even though is voice getting hoarser by the minute, playing the perfect ringmaster role.

For many fans it was probably, like me, their first big indoor show in a while, and it was a fantastic feeling that perhaps things may be returning to the new normal.

Thank goodness for that.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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