Live Review | Idles live show + meet & greet @ Record Junkee, Sheffield – 5/9/2018


IDLES Prove Live Why They Are a Must See Band!

I slowly make my way through the sea of people; the place is packed, yet the atmosphere is weirdly calm. My eyes still haven’t adjusted to the extreme contrast in darkness within the venue, compared to the daytime sunshine from outside; and with blurry eyes I’m beginning to wonder if a matinee show at half one in the afternoon, where people are clutching coffee cups, will in any way live up to the energy produced from your typical, alcohol-fuelled evening gig. But then I remember who I’m about to see.

This is an Idles gig, and I’m surrounded by fellow Idles fans, or ‘AF gang’ members, who in my eyes, are some of the most dedicated music fans out there at the moment….who cares what time of day it is – this is going to be amazing!

This statement was quickly confirmed in the time it took Idles frontman Joe Talbot to finally make his way onto the stage to join his fellow band members, who had already been blasting the intro to ‘Colossus’ (the first track off their new album) for a little too long. Well, just enough time for us all to really appreciate the rumbling guitars, while simultaneously being tortured by a painful suspense.

This is it.

Talbot takes his place and ‘Colossus’ continues in all its glory, eventually ending in the first mosh pit of the day. The inevitable energy has officially been created and it is here to stay; flailing limbs, sweat, spilt alcohol (and coffee) are all continued into the next massive tune from Joy as An Act of Resistance. Already a favourite with fans, ‘Never Fight a Man with a Perm’ thunders throughout Record Junkee; with people screaming ‘CONCREETE AND LEATHEER’ until they’ll all be needing a much smaller packet of Tunes; but these ones for soothing their poor (but never bored) throats (other sore throat lozenges are available).

As people recover from what has just occurred, the scene of the next 45 minutes or so is set when Talbot announces that this will be a request show. A beautiful, light-hearted energy diffuses throughout the crowd as Talbot appears to channel his inner Cilla Black, greeting various members of the crowd and retrieving their favourite Idles songs. Even though one of my faves – ‘Date Night’, was never played, I guess we got to experience bit of Blind Date instead – “What’s yer name, and where’dyer come from?” echoed numerous times throughout the venue, accompanied by Talbot’s comedic style; “Do you know any Idles songs?

Fans from all over; Rotherham, Nottingham, Selby, and even Edinburgh, got their chance to request their favourite tracks – ‘1049 Gotho’, ‘Television’ and ‘I’m Scum’ were the first to shape this very special and intimate gig, followed by an ambitious yet ‘stunning’ rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is You’, because why the hell not?

Talbot made his way into the bouncing crowd to round off Brutalism’s ‘White Privilege’ perfectly, with some audience participation; AKA taking it in turns to shout “YEAHH!” down the mic. “How many optimists does it take to change a lightbulb?” was never more apt when a light fixture was later accidently ripped from the roof during a mad crowd surf (with no butler in sight to change it.)

The explosive throwback ‘Queens’ from their 2015 Meat EP was just as explosive as the next request ‘Mother’ where Idles once again mingled with the crowd. While face to face with guitarist Lee Kiernan as he manically played off-stage, it was at that moment I realised how lucky we all were to experience this unique and unforgettable gig. Idles are a band who care about their fans, there is a mutual level of appreciation.

Another stand out moment was during the break down of ‘Exeter’, when guitarists BoBo and Lee summoned the crowd that circled them to crouch on floor; we obliged, everyone mesmerised by their performance. Boundaries were blurred between the fans and the band, we were all in it together. ‘Samaritans’, the penultimate request, was met with adoration, then everyone began to wonder who Talbot would pick to request the final song.

But after selecting someone who claimed to only know one Idles song, Talbot asked if it had already been played – ‘ohhh yes’, meant that the pressure was placed onto some other lucky person. ‘What would you like us to play?” Talbot enquired for the last time. It just had to be ‘Danny Nedelko’.

He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood
He’s made of flesh, he’s made of love
He’s made of you, he’s made of me

Never had I attended a gig and left feeling such a sense of unity and optimism, until now.

What lovely guys, what a lovely day.

Words By Meg Wood

LIVE REVIEW: OhBoy!, The Double Happy, Blackmonalisa and Hula Girls @ Actress and Bishop, Birmingham


The weather was damp, and the roads were drenched with men in high viz jackets and hard hats, but this did not stop me from attending my first OhBoy! Gig at the Actress and Bishop in Birmingham.

To start the night off we had a debut from the Hula Girls, a two-piece band from Coventry. When it is your debut gig in front of sparse crowd, you wouldn’t be blamed to be slightly off. However the Hula Girls managed to show some composure and put on a strong performance, as each of their songs provided energy along with some witty lyrics.

Blackmonalisa took the stage shortly after and demonstrated that there is no age limit on good music as they played each of their songs down to a tea. All of the songs, which had some impressive guitar work from Andy Lane, who was up and down the fret board like a maniac, very inspirational stuff.

The Double Happy were the final act before OhBoy!, who played an energetic set scattered with heavy riffs and screaming. It may not have to been to everyone’s taste but once again there was excellent guitar work on display, as lead guitarist, Martin Warlow, shredded his way through each song. The band was not short of personality either, as they shared jokes between songs and at one point Martin asked what the next song was, and how it went.

OhBoy! Finally took to the stage to showcase their debut EP (EP#1) to Birmingham. As good as the EP was on SoundCloud, it was twice as better live as each song seemed to surround the room and get everyone tow tapping, along with the odd person singing along (Me). Each of the band members played a crucial part in each of the songs, whether it was Lee’s guitar work, Nicola’s bass playing, Mark’s drum smashing or Jay’s winsome vocals, they were all important and executed perfectly.  The gig showed that OhBoy! deserve something bigger in the music world, as their songs wouldn’t sound out of place if played to 1000 + people. As an added extra, I got to meet the band who are great bunch of guys, very dedicated to their music and easy to talk to.

Unfortunately all of the bands deserved a bigger crowd, but you can’t win them all. Through the course of the night I was introduced to four talented bands, that each have strong songs behind them.

Words by Alex Wise @al4563

The Cribs – Tuesday 6th November 2012 – HMV Institure Birmingham

Before I start the post I would just like to say sorry for terrible lighting on the camera, my girlfriend just took her rubbish one as she didn’t want the other one to be battered, but still thankyou to her because with out her, I wouldn’t have these photos. If you’ve got any photos from the gig, please j get in touch I’d like to see em’,

I had the joy of seeing The Cribs this Tuesday, and I’ll be honest I’ve never seen them before (because before this I was a chav), but I’m a really big fan of theirs not only for their music but their whole indie ethos, they seemed to have stayed grounded regardless of the success, also they do go under the name of Witchita Recordings in the UK, in the US they’re under Warner I think, not entirely sure.

However they had a big gap between their last album and this one which is out now ‘In the belly of the brazen bull’ I did a review of the album and remember expressing how great it was, the gap was prior to the departure of Johnny Marr, undoubtedly one of the most influential guitarists ever. Also it was said that The Cribs were trying to do something a bit different and had to get used to being a three piece again, and I think they did that and paraded it on this very good album.

The Gig

Right the gig, instead of rattling on I should talk about this breath taking, ear piercing and energetic rush of a gig. To put it in one word it was breathtaking, quite literally at the end I couldn’t breathe because of all the shouting, pushing and kicking that I had to do to remain alive (it weren’t that bad). I think the performance proved that they are probably one of the best if not the best bands around now, purely for the arsenal of songs they have, the energy they bring to the stage and Ryan Jarman’s immaculate style.

The gig started off fast, and it really didn’t slow down, with the likes of ‘Come on and be a no one’ and ‘Our bovine public’ starting us off. With the guitars sounding distorted and their microphones giving off  this slight buzz every time they started singing just added to the occasion, and how much they really didn’t care about the sound that much, because I know some bands perhaps would of stopped and tried to sort it out. You had the obvious crowd pleasers with ‘Hey Scenesters’ and ‘Men’s Needs’, but the songs that took the night for me was ‘Be Safe’, I love the track on the album but it was so much better live, as you had the AV backing track featuring Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, and these blaring guitars and the back of it.

They also gave us the choice of ‘We were aborted’, ‘Don’t you wanna be relevant’ and ‘Leather Jacket Love Song’, personally I wanted ‘DYWBR’ but I got ‘We were aborted’. But I would of preferred ‘Direction’,  because that is probably one of the  best songs to go mad to, I was shouting for it almost every chance I could, but it didn’t come.

The main highlight for me in the gig was when Ryan Jarman’s guitar was playing up, and Ryan asked Gary to start singing a song for the crowd while they fixed it, and then he started singing ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen, and as soon as Ryan’s Guitar was fixed they proceeded an played the whole song, which I enjoyed.

The final point I wanna bring up about the gig was the attitude of all of them, you could see they were brothers and they still loved what they were doing and they still looked like they were in they early 20’s just by the way they were acting, it showed that they just love doing what they do.

Ryan Jarman

Just one last thing before I wrap this up, Ryan Jarman is one of my favourite guitarists, performers and musician after that night just because of how he acted, the way he dressed and his guitar is fucking cool, oh and his haircut is off the radar it’s that good.