Punk rock band Idles aim to get men talking about vulnerabilities

It was on my husband’s insistence that I went to see them.

I’d heard some snippets on 6 Music - and trust me it’s difficult not to hear Idles - so there I was observing a crowd who were poised to pogo, mosh pit at the ready.

Idles erupted onto the stage, furious guitars, crashing drums, angry vocals from charismatic lead man Joe Talbot.

And that’s where preconceptions ended. Yes it was loud shouty punk but the lyrics were at once gripping as they were unexpected.

Frontman Joe Talbot is hoping to raise money for the Samaritans. Credit: PA

"My blood brother is an immigrant, a beautiful immigrant"

"This is why you’ll never see your father cry".

"I kissed a boy and I liked it".

Idles’ brand of music with a message has lead to their debut album Brutalism being acclaimed across the board, named by radio stations and magazines as the best release of 2017 they have supported the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl’s a fan apparently, and they are about to head off of a world tour.

While singing in support of the NHS and immigration, their music also deals with mental health, and in particular in their new album Joy As An Act of Resistance, toxic masculinity.

Apparently Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl is a fan. Credit: PA

Their new single Samaritans lists the traditional expectations of men and boys:

“Man up, sit down, chin up, pipe down, socks up, don’t cry, drink up”.

Men need to know vulnerability is ok, they need to talk, says lead singer Talbot.

He writes his songs from experience and their new album came from his trauma.

He had just been through a tragic period of time, in which he lost his mother who he had been a carer for for years, and then he and his partner suffered the loss of their baby daughter.

It was counselling he says that helped save him, making him realise his feelings of loneliness, of not opening up about his emotions.

Men are not good at that, he says, and Samaritans tackles the subject head on, angry and emotional, the theme continues in Colossus.

Joe Talbot says he has friends whose life was saved by speaking to the Samaritans. Credit: PA

The primary cause of death amongst under 45 men in the UK is suicide he muses, that means that something is terribly wrong with society.

He says he has friends whose life was saved by speaking to the Samaritans, and it is because of this that he and his band mates have asked friends and fellow musicians to create artwork based on songs on their new album, which they will exhibit and sell to raise money for the Samaritans.

That exhibition takes place at the Electric Gallery in North London, on the 30th and 31st of August to coincide with the release of their new album.

Music they hope says something.