by Jake McKenzie
photo by Tom Ham
“At least this should generate some good punk rock” was a sentiment often repeated in the States around the time of Trump’s election. It’s true that a swing to the right in popular politics is often matched with a rebellious cry from punkers on the left. And no band screams back at the current surge of right-wing extremism as loudly and clearly as IDLES. Though these Bristol-born punks are more likely inspired by Brexit and issues from the other side of the pond, the astute listener will note that they’re all branches of the same tree. Heavy, aggressive, boot-stomping post-punk that eschews toxic masculinity and celebrates immigrants is something you didn’t even know you wanted so badly until it’s blasting in your ears. So far, IDLES’ two albums, Brutalism and its follow-up Joy as an Act of Resistance, have been met with near universal acclaim. Friday’s set promises to be an exhilarating one.