LIVE – Idles + Jehnny Beth + Big Joanie @ O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK

Review and Photography by Robert Barrett

Some bands need no introduction, especially when it’s Idles, the biggest band in the UK right now. Finally after two years of patience waiting they finally managed to play there fully sold out UK tour, and was the unmissable gig in January.

A shockingly great set of support acts were lined up for every stop of the tour. For Birmingham it was rockers Big Joanie and Savage’s frontwoman turned solo artist Jehnny Beth.

Big Joanie

Big Joanie’s bluesy punk rock has earned them a lot of fans and high-profile supporters. The support slot proved why that was, excellent punk tunes played with passion and honesty. A slow bluesy rendition of Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky” was the highlight in an great set.

Jehnny Beth

“Really excited for Jehnny Beth, such a powerful woman, and we need more on these stages” stated Big Joanie Frontwoman Stephanie Phillips, and Jehnny didn’t disappoint. An intense performance from the offset, within two songs she was in the crowd for a stunning rendition of “I’m the Man”. Later in her set she even got the room jumping for “More Adrenaline”, a terrific taster for the main act.

Idles were equally explosive from the off with a one two punch of “Collossus” and “Car Crash”. Frontman Joe Talbot full of spit and bile as his cutting wordplay shone during tracks “Never Fight a Man With a Perm” and “Mother”. “Any Scumbags in the audience?” he questioned before launching into “I’m Scum”. The crowd lapped up every song like it was a religious text and by the halfway point had been reduced to a sweaty mess.

“Danny Nedelko” is an anthem, and the audience almost drowned out Joe’s vocals singing along. No encore in sight, but after a few hours of non-stop punk it was probably a relief to some in the mosh pits. Another killer performance from Britain’s best band, catch them on tour if you can.

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