The hype surrounding Bristol punk band Idles is huge. This year has seen the five-piece enjoy a meteoric rise, scoring a top five album, winning a Q best breakthrough band award, and bagging an appearance on the Jools Holland show, which was the most highly energized and exciting since At the drive-in ran havoc back in 2000.

The O2 Academy is sold out for their October 29 show, with a crowd of all ages and both sexes hovering excitedly in anticipation. The lights dim as the band slowly enter the stage and begin with the tense, moody and brooding bass intro that begins Colossus, the first track on new album Joy as an Act of Resistance.

Singer Joe Talbot croons and yelps over cathartic noise before the track pauses halfway and the band launch into the more familiar and faster, raucous, punk they are renowned for. Never Fight A Man With A Perm, follows with its infectious ringing riff and vocals spat out through gritted teeth.

Newest single Danny Nedelko is an old-school, catchy punk song, a pro immigration anthem, an ode to a close friend and fellow Bristolian punk rocker of Ukranian descent who has already graced the stage earlier this evening, fronting the excellent support act Heavy Lungs.

Danny joins the band onstage, dancing and waving his arms wildly, being picked up and lifted upside down by Talbot in a close embrace, displaying a nice moment of love and unity between the two friends and two bands.

The band stomp through the marching beat of Divide & Conquer, another song carrying a powerful message, championing the NHS.

Guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan trade off stabbing guitar squeals throughout as their styles juxtapose brilliantly. Both run havoc on and off stage, like some unseen force is pulling their guitars from their bodies and their feet from the floor, while the rhythm section of bassist Adam Devonshire and Jon Beavis on drums keep a strong and powerful backbone.

The band offer up a party ending, with members of the audience being invited onstage to play instruments and dance around in a wild and joyful communion.

Having spoken to the band after the show its becomes easier to see how they can create this energy every night. They confess how humbled they are by their rapid rise and glowing feedback, and seem genuinely grateful and indebted for the support given them.

They have a huge online community of fans that use the band’s ‘All is Love’ slogan to express and share their thoughts on the band, its music and message, but their deepest feelings and personal issues.

Idles represent hope for young and old. A new hope that rock music can not only survive but flourish in the modern era, a renewed belief in positive and uplifting messages spread through heavy music, and a restored faith in the unexpected, improvised and outrageous joy of the live rock show.

Thomas Gale