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Live Review – Idles @ Albert Hall, Manchester

Last night the Albert Hall was a heaving mass of sweat and euphoria. Short beards and short trousers pushed and pulsated towards the front of the sold out gig. The excitement before opening track Colossus was so intense if it could be produced in powder form would out sell every drug on the market.  Based on both critical acclaim and devoted zealous fan hype the band were perched on a pedestal that stood higher than the Albert Hall stage, but they more than delivered on every possible level.

I witnessed things I can never unsee, Idles created a performance that all other gigs will be held up to in comparison and I fear will now seem eternally pale and insignificant. As if all live shows up until this point were levels of beige and people saw bright white for the first time. I also viewed through a zoom lens up the short shorts of guitarist Bobo while he paced, pranced and thrusted his way through the set, a swinging care free ball sack is now permanently etched into the back of my retina…   

Snippets of Terrorist  Synthesizer by Cabbage were woven into Exeter which Never Fight A Man With a Perm  had the unmistakeable sounds of Dick Dales Misirlou which Bobo again climbed his way through the dropping crowd. The short shorts stayed on through out, much to the shock, surprised and no doubt some annoyance of the fans the held him in the air, acting as a human walk way while he screamed and beat his guitar to within an inch of it’s life. 

All it took was 3 chords and the crowd were singing before front man Joe Talbot could even utter a word. Every line was known, not just singles,  Mother, Divide and Conquer and Danny Nedelko. It was clear both albums had been on heavy rotation in preparation of this night. The crowd ate up every track while Bobo and Lee Kiernan climbed up the side of the stage into the Gods like something out of the monkey temple scene in the Jungle book. 

By the time final song Rottweiler came to a jarring close, from the balcony you could see and smell the heat rising from the anarchic riot the crowd below had become. Their pleasure was clearly evident as will be the bruises acquired this morning. Idles had undoubtedly ruined us all.