The IDLES phenomenon continues at full pace, and the band commence their latest sold out run of UK dates with not one but four nights at the legendary Brixton Academy. We headed along to nights one and three to witness the brutal majesty of a band hitting their stride.
Each night of their London residency has seen different hand-picked support acts as IDLES curate what isn’t so much a tour but a travelling celebration of community spirit soundtracked by incredible musicians.
Over our two nights we witness wych elm, Wet Leg, Big Joanie and Sinead O Brien all deliver delightful sets to an appreciative and attentive audience. The supports each night help to build the excitement and anticipation for the 90 minutes of musical catharsis to follow.
These shows were originally in support of 2020’s ‘Ultra Mono’, however the prolonged pandemic delays to these shows have unexpectedly resulted in them now supporting a newer fourth album from the band. Yes, ‘CRAWLER’ arrived last year to much adulation and now gets to spread its wings live.
After all, IDLES songs do tend to breathe new air live and morph into different beasts when being delivered with the level of ferocity that IDLES somehow manage to conjure onstage. Over the two nights we attend, the likes of ‘Car Crash’, ‘The Beachland Ballroom’, ‘The Wheel’ and ‘When the Lights Come On’ all shine bright.
WATCH ‘CAR CRASH’ ON YOUTUBE
There are also tracks from ‘Ultra Mono’ which has seen some unfair criticism. ‘Mr. Motivator’, ‘Grounds’, and ‘Reigns’ again all sound massive and fit well with the setlists.
The band change up the setlists each night but fan favourite staples such as ‘Mother’, ‘Divide and Conquer’, ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ and ‘Danny Nedelko’ feature both nights.
IDLES are a next level live band, and with two more albums in their arsenal since their sell out Alexandra Palace date back in 2019, their back catalogue is also now reaching enviable proportions. These factors combined with the passion and energy of their dedicated fanbase ensure that IDLES remain one of the most vital and enjoyable bands gracing stages right now.
2020 was a year that we all wish we could forget. Could 2021 be any better? Well, it started off just as the previous year ended; with the live music industry on its knees. Lockdown restrictions still ruled out any live in person shows, with even socially distanced shows initially outlawed.
Come late spring, things began to look up and a number of “test” events were planned. We were lucky enough to attend the Pilot Download Festival and the euphoria of being amongst fellow music fans in a field can’t truly be put into words. Things were looking up!
Live music would eventually make a full return but sadly as we write this The Year In Review 2021 feature, the sector is once again holding its breath waiting for the Government to take action. Alas, true normality may still be a long way off, but for a few months this year we got to feel alive again.
That alone elevates 2021 above 2020, but there is plenty more to unpack. We recently undertook our now annual countdown of our top albums of the year over on our social media. 2021 was a truly exceptional year in terms of album quality. Those musicians kept in lockdown last year certainly found their creativity and compiling a list of the top 50 albums of the year was highly competitive.
In our The Year In Review 2021 article, we will be revealing our end of year award winners. As with last year we will announce our Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Artist of the Year, Gig of the Year and Festival of the Year.
This year however we have an additional award to hand out. 2021 was a big year for Full Pelt Music, our first full year in existence. We’ve grown and we’ve enhanced our focus on new music. We launched initially our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify through which we highlight the best up and coming artists.
We also launched not one but two Podcasts this year, including the accompanying ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast where we truly shine the spotlight on your new favourite acts. As such, this year we will also be awarding the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!
Before we get to those awards though, let’s run you through a few of our highlights this year. First of all, as mentioned we also launched The Full Pelt Music Podcast this year. Fittingly our inaugural guest was Frank Turner, the winner of both our Gig of the Year and Artist of the Year awards in our 2020 Year In Review.
Across the Podcasts this year we’ve had the pleasure to talk with Press To Meco, Beans On Toast, Miss Vincent, Planet Fatale, Mercutio, Light By The Sea, Freddie and the Fabs, The Damned Few, Project Renegade, Icarus and Smoke! Be sure to check out these conversations, and also to Subscribe on Youtube or wherever you listen to your Podcasts. After all, we will have plenty more for you to enjoy in 2022.
The Music Industry has seized on the opportunity to entertain this year both live and on record. We’ve reviewed 66 albums, 2 festivals and 27 gigs in 2021 as fans have been treated to incredible releases and some truly stunning live shows. Again, perhaps the enforced break has allowed creativity to breed innovation.
So with that in mind, let’s work through those award catagories!
Album of the Year
As we’ve already referenced, the pure quality of releases this year made compiling our Top 50 Album of the Year List very tricky. It was hard work but we did it, and you can read the full list here.
The quality is demonstrated best by last year’s winners IDLES only reaching a still respectable number 7. The winner however had to be ‘Blue Weekend’ from the incredible Wolf Alice who continue to go from strength to strength. After three stunning albums, there is no ceiling for this band and we can’t wait to catch songs from the album live in 2022.
‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice
‘Written & Directed’ by Black Honey, ‘Typhoons’ by Royal Blood, ‘Seize the Power’ by Yonaka and ‘Transmute’ by Press To MECO
2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES
Single of the Year
We move on now to our award for the Single or Song of the Year. This year has again seen us locked down for considerable amounts of time and many will have sought solace in Playlists such as our Spotify Hot List.
In selecting our track of the year we considered which songs we’ve come back to time and time again, which songs remain as fresh now as they did on first listen and what songs simply just resonate on a different level.
Our winner is an incredible track from the fantastic album ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO. ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ ticks all of the criteria and also sounds absolutely massive live.
‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ by Press To MECO
‘My Town’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ‘Afterlife’ by Holding Absence, ‘Midnight’ by Creeper and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ by Frank Turner
2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud
Artist of the Year
Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Last year we gave the award to Frank Turner for his incredible work for the #SaveOurVenues campaign through his Independent Venue Love series.
This year our winners are a band that also dabbled with livestreams during that first lockdown. This year however has been a hugely important year for Biffy Clyro. A new album, ‘A Myth of the Happily Ever After’ came hot on the heels of last year’s ‘A Celebration of Endings’. It’s another quality album from a band that continue to deliver consistently great music.
The band also had a huge impact on the live music scene this year. Firstly, the band rode to the rescue by stepping in as late replacements for Queens of the Stone Age to once again headline Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Secondly, the band played huge outdoor shows in Cardiff, Glasgow and Margate to help signal the return of live music after around 16 months of lockdown. Highlights of both their Reading and Glasgow performances aired on the BBC.
Lastly, the band played a completely sold out and very intimate ‘Fingers Crossed’ Tour across the UK. Their shows this year giving fans an opportunity to witness songs from not one but two albums live for the first time.
Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Creeper and Wolf Alice
2020 – Frank Turner
Festival of the Year
Festivals made a belated return from lockdown restrictions in late summer, although the majority of the usual seasons events were still cancelled. For our Festival of the Year however we can’t look anywhere other than the special event that laid the groundwork for all events to return, the Download Pilot Festival!
Back in June the Government test event was the first opportunity for music fans to camp in a field and rock out for three days. The camaraderie and atmosphere this situation created, combined with the uniquely intimate Download layout and line-up made for a once in a lifetime experience.
British bands took centre stage and delivered an incredible weekend of music; with bands and fans both desperate to experience live music again. Thanks to all involved we can hopefully experience a full fat Download Festival again this summer.
Last year’s winner of Gig of the Year was a socially distancing outdoor affair, this year however true live music returned! Picking a winner this year is difficult because the pent up frustration of lockdown on both musicians and fans vented fully across some amazing gigs.
We reviewed 27 of those shows this year and there were some very special moments amongst them. The winner however must go to Bring Me The Horizon who stormed the O2 Arena with You Me At Six and Nova Twins in tow.
The night was a massive middle finger to any remaining doubters and the band solidified themselves not just as arena fillers but as festival headline ready. Fitting therefore that they have recently been revealed as headliners for Reading & Leeds Festivals next year.
Creeper @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Idlewild @ Electric Brixton, The Offspring @ Wembley Arena, Biffy Clyro @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Vukovi @ Norwich Waterfront Studio and Royal Blood @ Norwich UEA
2020 – Frank Turner @ Nottingham Arboretum
‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year
Our final award is a new award for this year where we shift focus on to the future. Having launched our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast this year we wanted to honour an act that we have featured and for whom the future is bright.
With their debut album ‘A Funeral For Youth’ cracking our top 20 for the year, Miss Vincent take the inaugural ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!
Planet Fatale, Dead Nature and Thumper
So, it hasn’t been a usual year again, in fact at times it has been just as hard as 2020. 2021 has however reminded us of what we were missing. Stunning new music, incredible live shows and a return to some normality (nobody say ‘new’ normal!), make 2021 a year that will live long in the memory for many reasons.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2021 feature and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good one!
2021 has been another tough year to live through. There have been some signs of normal life, for example the return of live music, but we end it as we started with true normality a distant memory.
This year has however been a stunning year for new music releases. Yes, lockdown musicians and the odds are their creativity will take over. In Full Pelt Music’s first full year of existence we have reviewed 65 albums and the quality of those releases has been exceptional.
Last year we counted down our Top 20 albums of the year, with a special Advent Calendar countdown on our Twitter. This year we have expanded! Our 2021 countdown has taken place across all our social platforms, and has listed our Top 50 albums of the year!
With that social media countdown completed, it’s now time to compile our completed Top 50 in one place. So let’s get started!
What we said:
“there are stunning moments spread throughout the album”
The quality of this year’s releases has been truly phenomenal as our opening 30 albums attests. The competition is extremely tight for the coveted top spot and that is clear throughout the prestigious Top 20 that follows.
What we said:
“a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future”
It’s a little over a year since IDLES released their magnificent third studio album ‘Ultra Mono’, but already their fourth has arrived. ‘CRAWLER’ was actually only announced on September 28th as the band dropped the lead single, ‘The Beachland Ballroom’.
So with minimal promotion and fanfare can this album continue the incredible hot streak that the band find themselves on? With just two pre-release singles fans will need to sink their teeth fully into ‘CRAWLER’ to find out, so let’s do just that.
The album starts with ‘MTT 420 RR’ and ‘The Wheel’ quickly establishing that this is definitely an IDLES album. That may sound silly, but following the initial singles there was an element of worry from some that the album may represent a significant departure from their much heralded sound.
Of course, it’s tricky for artists to evolve, with that especially true in the rock or guitar music world. Natural progression can often be seen as selling out by fans loyal to an artist’s early work, making it difficult not to alienate your audience whilst experimenting with your art.
WATCH ‘CAR CRASH’ ON YOUTUBE
Again as we continue the album with ‘When the Lights Come On’, ‘Car Crash’ and ‘New Sensation’, it’s clear that IDLES have maintained the essence of what has brought them to this point. That said it’s also abundantly obvious that they haven’t been afraid to divert course. They are still on the same road but they have changed lanes.
This shouldn’t be a surprise though as they started to indicate this lane change on ‘Ultra Mono’. Keep doing the same thing and the band will be accused of simple IDLES-by-numbers output, but dare evolve their sound and they will be deemed to have sold out or some similar nonsense.
It really is a hard balance to strike, but on ‘CRAWLER’ they have managed to do just that. This isn’t Dylan going electric, but it is a band stretching their legs. As the album moves on through ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘The Beachland Ballroom’, ‘Crawl!’ and ‘Meds’ you can’t help but imagine how huge these songs will sound live.
Nobody really expected a new IDLES album so soon after ‘Ultra Mono’, but we’ve got one and ‘CRAWLER’ does exactly what it needs to do. As the band head towards their sold out tour next year, they now have four albums of incredible material to choose from.
The hot streak remains intact and IDLES continue to be one of the most exciting and vital bands around.
Welcome to another edition of our weekly music News Report. We start with a festival line-up announcement. The festival in question is Derbyshire event Y Not which takes place 29th to 31st July next year.
The line-up got bigger this week with additions including Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, The Vaccines, The Snuts, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Black Honey, The Futureheads, Dream Wife and Yard Act!
They join the already announced Courteeners, Blossoms, Nothing But Thieves, Levellers, Pale Waves, Vistas, Beans On Toast and more.
Volbeat next, as this week they announced a very intimate London date for Saturday 21st May next year. The band will release new album, ‘Servant Of The Mind’ on December 3rd and pre-orders get early access to tickets.
Placebo recently returned with their first new music in year, the single ‘Beautiful James’. Now the band has announced that they will release a new album, ‘Never Let Me Go’, with pre-sales commencing on November 9th.
Those that pre-order will also get advance access to tickets for a yet to be announced UK Tour!
Welcome to another weekly News Report from Full Pelt Music. We start this week with a handful of 2022 festival line-up announcements and first up is this beauty from 2000trees Festival.
Added to the event this week were the likes of Dream State, Tigercub, Ginger Wildheart, ROAM, Never Not Nothing and WITCH FEVER.
They join the already announced IDLES, Jimmy Eat World, The Amazons, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Young Guns, Royal Republic, Lonely The Brave, Crossfaith, Vukovi, Bob Vylan, Beans On Toast, Will Varley, Press To MECO, Lauran Hibberd, Haggard Cat and so many more.
To be at the loaded event, you can grab your ticket here.
Check out The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Press To MECO 👇
Bearded Theory announce more acts for 2022 Festival
Some of the best UK Festivals are the smaller independent variety that can feature real strength and depth in their line-ups. Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering was already looking packed, but this week they’ve added even more incredible acts!
New acts include Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, The Hives, Yonaka, Working Men’s Club, Billy Nomates, John, Do Nothing, Bob Vylan and Little Comets!
They join Placebo, The Flaming Lips, Patti Smith, The Mission, Shame, Peter Hook & The Light, Wilko Johnson, Ferocious Dog, Lauran Hibberd, The Ninth Wave, Nova Twins and more!
British Summer Time in Hyde Park has added two more superstar names to it’s 2022 bill this week. First it was announced Adele would perform two now sold out shows. It was then announced that the legendary Eagles will also perform the event.
They join already announced headliners Pearl Jam, Elton John and Duran Duran. Tickets for the shows are here.
Stereophonics to celebrate 20th anniversary of ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’
Our News Report moves onto tour announcements now and we start with a celebration from Stereophonics. The band will be playing some intimate ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ shows to celebrate the albums 20th anniversary.
Finally this week we conclude our News Report with the latest single from Blood Red Shoes. You can check out ‘Morbid Fascination’ above ahead of the release of their new album ‘Ghosts On Tape’ which arrives January 14th!
Welcome to another edition of our weekly music News Report. We start this week with some festival news with events turning now to the 2022 festival season.
One of the biggest events in the UK, the iconic Isle Of Wight Festival has this week revealed the first acts set to grace the festival next year. Topping the bill will be Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Richie, Kasabian, Pete Tong and huge Sunday headliners Muse.
They’ll be joined by the likes of Blossoms, The Vaccines, Happy Mondays, Shaggy, The Proclaimers and The Coral.
This week also saw a stunning line-up announcement from 2000trees Festival as their 2022 edition takes shape. The event will be headlined by IDLES, Thrice and Jimmy Eat World!
They will be joined by The Amazons, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Young Guns, Royal Republic, Rolo Tomassi, Lonely The Brave, Crossfaith, Vukovi, Bob Vylan, Beans On Toast, Will Varley, Lauran Hibberd, Press To Meco, Haggard Cat and many more.
Last week Slam Dunk Festival announced the first acts that will play the event next summer. This week two huge shows were announced to take place on the same site in the days leading up to the festival.
Hitting Leeds and Hatfield in June will be You Me At Six as they celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their album ‘Sinners Never Sleep’. There will also be a supporting bill that will include The Hunna.
It’s another busy music news week, particularly for Stereophonics – so that’s where we commence our News Report!
This week saw the band announce the release of ‘Oochya’, their 12th studio album. The record will arrive on March 4th 2022, and you can pre-order your copy here.
Preceding the release of the album is their new single, ‘Hanging On Your Hinges’, which you can check out below. The band has also revealed a huge UK Arena Tour for next year with tickets available here.
Sticking with tour news, this week saw a huge announcement from The Coral. The band revealed a 12 date trek around the UK set for March 2022. Making the shows extra special they will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ‘The Coral’, with a remastered edition available on Friday 4th March 2022.
Miles Kane also revealed a lengthy 16 date UK tour this week. The run of dates will take place in January/February 2022 with support from Brooke Combe and includes a huge show at the Roundhouse in London.
The tour comes as Kane announces the release of his fourth studio album, ‘Change The Show’, which will arrive January 21st! You can check out his track, ‘Don’t Let It Get You Down’ below.
Album release shows would normally happen around the time that a new album is released. We all know why this isn’t the case for any artist releasing new music over the past 18 months but finally for IDLES the time has arrived to play these special intimate shows. With two hometown Bristol shows and an Oxford gig in the bank, the band arrive in Kingston for their opportunity to grace the PRYZM stage.
‘Ultra Mono’ was released in September 2020, so these release shows happen almost a year on from the album’s arrival. For some acts this could cause issues, but not for IDLES. If the euphoria for fans seeing the band after the last year or so isn’t enough, they have also waited patiently to hear these new songs live.
It actually feels wrong to call them new songs, as they’ve helped many a fan through a difficult period in all our lives. These songs are now part of our lives, but IDLES songs always seem to grow wings in the live setting. So as the clock strikes half past nine, it’s time to let these track soar.
Straight out the bat fans are treated to ‘War’, ‘Grounds’, ‘Mr. Motivator’ and ‘Anxiety’ as ‘Ultra Mono’ comes to life for a sold out Kingston crowd. With so much pent up frustration there is immediately a cathartic release of energy with the audience and the band clearly up for it tonight.
As the evening continues and the setlist weaves between the bands three albums, it becomes clear that the new(er) tracks more than hold their own live. ‘The Lover’, ‘Kill Them With Kindness’ and in particular ‘Reigns’ all sound monstrous tonight.
When you add these tracks to a set that includes ‘Mother’, ‘1049 Gotho’, ‘Samaritans’ and ‘Divide and Conquer’ you come to realise how formidable a back catalogue IDLES have amassed over a relatively short period of time.
The band has always been ferocious yet incredibly tight live and they have lost none of this innate ability during their enforced time away from the stage. Finishing with ‘Never Fight a Man With a Perm’ and ‘Danke’ you know that opportunities to catch this band in venues this size are going to be few and far between.