Idles review – shout their name from the rooftops

Academy, Oxford
The Bristol band’s politically charged rock strikes a powerful chord on the messy, celebratory final night of their sold-out tour

Idles guitarist Mark Bowen is walking across the venue’s ceiling. Held aloft by the crowd, the topless musician turns himself partly upside down to take advantage of the Academy’s low-hanging architecture.

This is not behaviour you would expect from a dentist. By night, though, the NHS’s mutton-chopped Bowen is often to be found wearing only his pants, one of two prancing guitarists in a rowdy, shouty outfit playing the final night of a sold-out UK tour. (“For the last fucking time, we’re not a punk band,” Idles’ singer Joe Talbot claimed at a recent gig in Manchester.)

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Idles review – shout their name from the rooftops