So. IDLES at Brixton’s O2 Academy in South London.
What a thrill. Irrespective of the sheer stigma that London resides with its powerful music scenes across all stretches of the neighbouring boroughs, witnessing such a powerful punk-riddled band sharing the spotlight with like-minded individuals and fanatics who are all there for the same cause, is such a fantastic moment.
With reassurances in measurable amounts since the gig being postponed from 2020 during the initial lockdown, I can be whole-heartedly sure that it is worth the 2-year wait. A colossal wave of expression and love, IDLES are a collective art for the ages – and with all four nights in Brixton all sold out, you can start to understand why they have such a highly loyal following.
Being within the cultural mishaps and mixes of South London – sprawled out between Clapham, Peckham and Brixton – was a marvellous exchange of feeling and brought about something exciting in the air. Among these established grounds, there does really seem to be a sense of community and something more within the streets, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
An ample collective of sorts, it shows just valuable London is to the creative sectors and how expressive the industry works in terms of music. Marvellous nook and crannies hidden down side-roads, designed murals sprawled over etched brickwork overseeing a local public house full of life and opportunity – even the mass graffiti punctured throughout the annexes and boroughs of London’s main talking point is seen as highly significant in individuals expressing themselves via the power of creativity. Whenever I take myself out of my own head in my tiny shoebox flat and venture into the lush landscaping of London, it does make any other cities soulless in comparison.
Is this the stigma and narrative that London gets automatically as being the city for music, art and creativity simply from the powers of media and TV that portray it so? Or has this been besotted by the people who live there, an eclectic mix of fascinating individuals all with their stories to tell?
It’s one interesting thought that I often ask myself when I head to the central – and one I can never seem to answer when I leave it. I’m still very much perplexed on whether or not I would love to live there too. Besides the frightening cost of living and the fact that the quantity space is tiny, it may be something to consider …