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Idles, stylised as IDLES, are an English punk rock band formed in Bristol in 2009. Their debut album, Brutalism, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, as was their second album Joy as an Act of Resistance in 2018.

Idles - Haldern Pop Festival 2017 - Alexander Kellner - 8.jpg
Idles at Haldern Pop Festival 2017
Background information
OriginBristol, England
Years active2009 (2009)–present
LabelsFear of Fiction, Balley, Partisan
  • Joe Talbot
  • Adam Devonshire
  • Mark Bowen
  • Lee Kiernan
  • Jon Beavis
Past membersAndy S.



Idles have their roots in the Bat-Cave Night Club in Bristol, run by singer Joe Talbot and bassist Adam Devonshire, who met while at 6th form college in Exeter, eventually deciding to start a band.[1] According to Talbot, "It took us a long time to get productive because we didn't know what the fuck we were doing at all, we were fucking terrible for a long time." The band's first release was the Welcome EP in 2012. By 2014 the band comprised Talbot, Devonshire, guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan, and drummer Jon Beavis.[2] They released a second EP, Meat, and Meta, an EP of remixes, in 2015, and then started writing songs for their debut album.[1]

After the 2016 singles, "Well Done" and "Divide & Conquer", the band released their first album in March 2017, Brutalism, to critical acclaim.[1][3][4] DIY magazine, gave it 4 stars, calling it "An exhilarating escape along frenzied rhythms and powerhouse rhythms with a ferocious commentary for vital as it is volatile."[5] The Line of Best Fit website gave it 9/10, calling Idles "one of the most exciting British bands right now".[6] It got 8/10 from PopMatters, with Ian King calling it "bracing, caustic, and relentless".[7] Uncut gave it a similarly positive review, calling it "A rare rock record with the rage, urgency, wit and shattering of complacency usually found in grime."[8] Talbot's mother died after a long illness while the band was working on the album, and is pictured on the cover, along with a sculpture by Talbot and his father.[2] Her death gave Talbot and the band a new focus.[2] They toured to support Brutalism, and supported The Maccabees on the London shows of their farewell tour,[9] as well as supporting the Foo Fighters for the O2 Arena's 10th Birthday. After several festival appearances throughout Europe, they began working on their second album, Joy as an Act of Resistance, which was released on 31 August 2018.[2][10][11] Accompanying the release of Joy as an Act of Resistance, the group created an exhibition in collaboration with HM Electric Gallery in London, taking place 30 and 31 of August 2018.[12]

In 2019, the band were nominated for Best Breakthrough Act at the 2019 Brit Awards.[13]

Musical styleEdit

The band's music has been associated with punk rock[14][15] and related genres including post-punk,[16][17] hardcore punk,[18] and post-hardcore.[19] Singer Joe Talbot, however, rejects all of these labels. In 2017, he was quoted as saying: "We're not a post punk band. I guess we have that motorik, engine-like drive in the rhythm section that some post punk bands have but we have plenty of songs that aren't like that at all."[2] At a 2018 concert in Manchester, he said: "for the last time, we're not a fucking punk band".[20]



  • Joe Talbot – lead vocals (2009–present)
  • Adam Devonshire – bass, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Mark Bowen – lead guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Jon Beavis – drums, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Lee Kiernan – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2015–present)


  • Andy S. – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2009–2015)



Physical singles, EPsEdit

  • Welcome (2012), Fear of Fiction
  • Meat (2015), Balley
  • Meta EP (2015), Balley
  • Meat // Anguish EP (2016), Harmacy
  • "Well Done" (2017), Balley
  • "Divide & Conquer" (2017), Balley
  • "Mother" (2017), Balley
  • "Danny Nedelko" (2018) - split single with Heavy Lungs
  • "Mercedes Marxist / I Dream Guillotine" (2019), Partisan

Download-only tracks/singlesEdit

  • "Stendhal Syndrome" (2017), Balley
  • "Rachel Khoo" (2017), Balley
  • "Colossus" (2018), Partisan
  • "Danny Nedelko" (2018), Partisan
  • "Samaritans" (2018), Partisan
  • "Great" (2018), Partisan


  • Meat / Meta (2019), Balley


  1. ^ a b c Hamilton, Joe (2017) "Brute Force: The Contrary World Of IDLES", Clash, 15 March 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  2. ^ a b c d e Murray, Eoin (2017) "Stendhal Syndrome: Idles Interviewed", The Quietus, 29 June 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  3. ^ Smith, Thomas (2016) "New Music Of The Day: IDLES Namecheck Mary Berry On Punk Anthem 'Well Done'", NME, 30 September 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2017
  4. ^ Murray, Robin (2016) "Premiere: IDLES - 'Divide And Conquer'", Clash, 31 August 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2017
  5. ^ Goodman, Jessica (2017) "Idles - Brutalism", DIY. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  6. ^ Day, Laurence (2017) "Idles are one of the most exciting British bands right now", Line of Best Fit, 16 March 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  7. ^ King, Ian (2017) "Idles Brutalism", PopMatters, 10 March 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  8. ^ "Idles - Brutalism", Uncut, April 2017, p. 32
  9. ^ Yates, Jonathan (2017) "Everything you need to know about The Maccabees farewell shows at Alexandra Palace",, 28 June 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  10. ^ Beauvallet, JD, (2017) "Des Idles aux Parcels : une deuxième soirée tout en contrastes aux Eurockéennes", Les Inrocks, 8 July 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017
  11. ^ Jones, Craig (2017) "Idles at Download Festival 2017: Punk band take aim at The Sun during riotous set", Birmingham Mail, 10 June 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017
  12. ^ IDLES (31 July 2018). "Joy as an Act of Resistance Exhibition" – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Daly, Rhian (12 January 2019). "IDLES, The 1975, and Dua Lipa amongst stars nominated for 2019 BRIT Awards". NME. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  14. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie (21 August 2018). "How IDLES Used Punk Rock To Fight Through Grief". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  15. ^ Beaumont, Mark (6 April 2017). "Post-Brexit punk and austerity anthems - 2017's political rock resurgence". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  16. ^ Beaumont, Mark (30 August 2018). "Idles, Joy as an Act of Resistance album review: Punk rockers place vulnerability and empathy front and centre". The Independent. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  17. ^ Cooper, Matthew (20 February 2019). "Who are IDLES? Bristol post-punk band nominated for best breakthrough act - Manchester Evening News". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.
  19. ^ Wray, Daniel Dylan (22 March 2018). "Meet IDLES, Punk's Most Savage Good Boys". Noisey. Vice Media. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  20. ^ McCann, Freya (2018) "LIVE: IDLES @ O2 RITZ | 19.10.18",, 19 October 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018

External linksEdit