IDLES, Generation, Shy Billy: O2 Academy, Liverpool



Unprepared for IDLES’ post-punk aggression, Getintothis’ Gary Coughlan takes a trip into his past and emerges a fully-fledged fan of three new bands.

Back in the day we’d go to concerts without really knowing what to expect, what we would hear and what we would see. In advance of a gig these days, a quick search of YouTube, Spotify or Soundcloud usually gives you a good idea of the music you are in for…not tonight.

IDLES frontman Joe Talbot stalks the stage eyeing up his prey in plain sight, minutes before he is due to be there; no other band members are in sight. Simmering and smouldering in front of his baying mob. Batting back shouts of “Why don’t you get a job?” and “Mary Berry’s got a medal” with nothing but a smirk and a glance.

To have a frontman for the main act standing there waiting to start is quite unusual. To have a frontman with a burning intensity staring out the crowd…deeply unsettling. This was a night for the unexpected.

After Talbot is joined on stage by the rest of the band they waste no time in unleashing controlled, manic post-punk aggression on the eager crowd. Beer being spilled and mosh pits start up.

Highlights of the setlist included Mother and Well Done. IDLES are a force to be reckoned with.

Tonight’s line-up saw Shy Billy (formerly known as Lying B*st*rds) opening proceedings with a raw emotion, killer licks and a lively performance. A fitting opening act and judging by the crowd’s reception, they’ve certainly added a few more numbers to their fanbase.

The second act to join the fray is Generation, the O2 Academy debutants strutting on to the stage like this is their moment.

Generations may have a familiar look to those who remember the 80s a little too well. Yet this purposeful styling perfectly suits their youthful exuberance and fresh sound. Lead vocalist Dean Carne isn’t content with simply singing, he is having a good time…. and he is taking you with him. Generation are all but dragged off stage, not before Carne can personally thank those in the front row with handshakes and high fives.

They’ve overrun their time and if IDLES weren’t to follow, cutting the power would have been the only way to stop them.

Festevol Gardens reveals Trudy and the Romance and Red Rum Club – plus full stage layout

Shy Billy and Generation will be reunited at Festevol Gardens Vermilion Sands stage in Invisible Wind Factory on April 30. You just might see us front and centre, ready to go again.

Photos by GetintothisGary Coughlan.