There are many different ways to react to hatred and the whole world being a fucking mess. Anger. Violence. Isolation. Sadness. More hatred of course. Apathy. Going AWOL on a desert island (which would soon be drowning because of global warming anyway). Eating until a candy-induced coma. Petting dogs as much as you can to prevent you from crying every time you watch the news. Petting dogs in general.
IDLES have decided to do otherwise.
While I’m pretty sure these guys love dogs, they’ve chosen a much different path and even made it their new album title : joy as an act of resistance.
Yes, IDLES’ music is punk, bold, wild, loud, brutal and out of control sometimes (yup, I’m talking about that epic Jools Holland performance), but above all, a cry for love in the darkness.
Read Joseph Talbot’s lyrics and you’ll know what I mean. Watch these guys live once, how they interact with their audience and with each other and you will understand what I’m talking about: the love, unity and high sense of togetherness IDLES proclaim in their songs is real between them, whether it is on- or offstage.
It’s not surprising then that the band members themselves are just like what their music preaches: joyful, fun, kind human beings trying to find some sense in a world crumbling apart, trying to overcome their own tragedies, to make the best out of their adventure and to have and bring as much fun as they can while voicing essential concerns – whether it’s the Brexit fuckery, racism or toxic masculinity. To be honest, adopting Bowen and Joe has been a real conversation here at the Blogo HQ since they started an impromptu cover of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” out of the blue right after the political anthem “Well Done” at Rock en Seine festival this summer.
But more than all the fun we had filming these guys, more than the jokes and the I’m-gonna-use-a-bottle-of-cider-as-a-guitar-pick-because-why-not vibe, IDLES are, above all, a powerful reminder of the reason why we keep doing Take Away Shows after more than ten years after: a craving need for the unexpected, for this very moment when a band agrees to strip their music to the bone and allows us to get into their intimacy. This couple of minutes when you can’t back off anymore and just have to follow them wherever they want to take you with total abandon because the only way to embrace IDLES’ beautiful roughness is to lose control and accept this might get out of hand pretty soon.
It did, in a very IDLES way, with love and laughs, and I’d go back to that very moment anytime if I could.
Special thanks to Charles for proofreading.