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IDLES on the Fontaines D.C. clash at Glasontbury 2024 – and stepping up to headline

June 30th, 2024

IDLES have spoken to NME about stepping up to headline Glastonbury in the future, and their “Oasis vs Blur” rivalry over their set clash with Fontaines D.C. Watch our interview with the band above and check out the full chat below.

Just before the band headlined The Other Stage on Friday (June 28), frontman Joe Talbot and guitarist Mark Bowen caught up with us backstage, where we also talked about the new positive outlook within the group, who’s the best dancer, and what the future may hold.

Many fans were frustrated that their set overran with that of Fontaines headlining The Park that night. When we asked the Irish post-punks what they made of it, they told us that IDLES must be “shitting themselves”. Is that true? Read on to find out…

IDLES at Glastonbury 2024. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

NME: Hello IDLES. You must be feeling pretty good today?

Joe Talbot: “Yeah, yeah, always. I mean, we’re at Glastonbury. It’s a beautiful time.”

You’ve had so many Glastonbury ‘moments’ already – people still talk about your sets at The Park [2019] and The Other Stage [2022]. But to headlining The Other Stage, That’s monumental, right?

Talbot: “Yeah, it’s a big thing. I mean, warranted or not, we are good at playing live. So we’ll take the opportunity and smash it.”

There’s been a lot of chat about the IDLES vs Fontaines schedule clash. Have you guys been texting each other smack talk or anything? 

Bowen: “‘Clash Of The Shitans’, we’re calling it. It’s an inevitability that when you get to this stage, you’re going to rub up against your mates. We’re just devastated we don’t get to see them. And they don’t get to see us because they could learn a few things. You know? Ooooooh!”

Talbot: “It’s happening! It’s like fucking Blur vs Oasis! The comment section’s gonna go wild. Fuck yours in advance. No, we were with them like, literally 45 minutes ago. It’s fuckery innit? It’s fuckery. So it’s a weird thing to happen. But you know, what, there’ll be others.”

You didn’t put laxative in their Guinness or anything like that?

Talbot: No, but I did finger myself and then shake their hands. So hopefully they get pinkeye at least.”

And your mates LCD Soundsystem are here too. Are you going to catch up with them? Maybe surprise collab later? 

Talbot: “Yeah, if they can make it and they’re on stage, we’ll get them out for sure.”

And have you approached Chris Martin, about the idea of standing on stage and just miming the lyrics to ‘Grace‘ like in the video?

Talbot: “He was begging me last night, like, ‘Please, can I do ‘The Stick Song’ [Hey Duggee theme cover] with you, bro?’ And I was like, “We’re not doing that. I’m afraid, Chris’. No, we haven’t thought about that. Then we’re on today, not tomorrow. And we’ve got – Danny Brown’s coming on.”

Idles at Glastonbury 2024. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

Joe, the last time we spoke we talked your journey through Glastonbury, the impact of ‘TANGK‘ and where it’s going to take you next. Is headlining the Other Stage the natural step to coming back in five years and smashing Pyramid?

Talbot: “Yeah. I mean, ascension would be nice, but it’s incremental stuff. We’ve been doing this for 15 years and each step is just magic. It sounds boring and that, but we’re just gonna keep doing what we’re doing. We will headline the Pyramid Stage at the appropriate time, when we can fill the field with people that like and know our songs. That ain’t yet. We’re capable of doing a show better than a lot of headliners, I think. But we’re not there yet. It’s about bums in seats, we’re not fucking dumb. But we are good.”

How does it feel to be in IDLES in 2024 after ‘TANGK’, and living by that mantra of “love is the thing”? Are you feeling that reciprocated in the energy of these songs each night? Are IDLES in a more loving place now? 

Talbot: “Absolutely. It’s a thing I chose to do. I was at a point in my life where I needed love. Not necessarily romantic love, but I needed to bring that back into my narrative as a person on a daily basis. Obviously, I live this life as an artist, I’m singing the songs every day, and doing interviews and such. It was a really healthy process to go through and talk about that. And it’s been therapeutic. Literally, we look after each other more on stage and the audience dances now and they have this – there’s just a slightly new dynamic. We’re never gonna repeat ourselves again. It is fucking magic.”

Bowen: “Our shows have always been about love. It’s always been about being uninhibited and sharing with each other you know? But the biggest change is the dancing that you can see. It used to be this loving chaotic mosh pit and now there are moments where everyone just like locks in and grooves. That’s a vibe we were going for and that’s what we’re getting, so it’s great.”

IDLES at Glastonbury 2024. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

Do you guys get competitive dancing onstage? Who’s the best dancer in IDLES?

Bowen: “It’s a dead heat between myself and Joseph Talbot. The issue is he’s got the whole hip swing bum-shake thing that he does. I mean, I’m not taking away from it. It’s an incredible thing to have.”

Talbot: “I’ve been spinning on my head you fucking rat.”

Bowen: “That’s showboating, though! No one likes that!”

Talbot: “That’s right.”

Bowen: “Next question!”

Talbot: “OK, love you man.”

Bowen: “I appreciate you too.”

Talbot: “Fuck the King.”

Check back at NME for the latest Glastonbury 2024 news, reviews, interviews, photos, rumours and more. Check out the NME liveblog here for all the latest Glastonbury action as it happens.‘

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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