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Live Photos + Review: Idles, Miss June - The Tuning Fork, Auckland

Live Photos + Review: Idles, Miss June - The Tuning Fork, Auckland

Photography by Connor Crawford / Review by Fluffy / Monday 21st January, 2019 1:36PM

Yesterday evening saw Auckland's Spark Arena-adjacent venue The Tuning Fork host globetrotting Bristol posi-punks Idles. The group are touring on the back of their second offering 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance' and the irrepressible quintet's brutal but endearing tracks were hotly anticipated by scores of devoted local fans. The vibe-capturing duo of lens maestro Connor Crawford and reviewer Fluffy were there to document Sunday's event. 

Idles are a band that has been on everyone’s to-see list since they exploded on the scene with their 2017 magnum opus Brutalism. Their brand of positivity-based punk rock makes them so essential to this dreary modern world that they've achieved cult-like status among diehard fans. Last year’s Joy As An Act Of Resistance proved that they were one of the most crucial acts in world right now. To say last night was a long time coming is nothing short of an understatement.

Auckland's Miss June opened with their polished punk rock tunes. Recent student radio high-rotation single ‘Twitch’ translated well live, and enthusiasm was clearly glowing from band members between un-mic’d back up vocals, impromptu dance routines and glowing smiles. As always they were shooting high and I’m sure they hit the mark with a score of new fans.

In the interest of full disclosure, Idles are my idols (I guess that’s 100% of the joke surrounding their name), so to say this evening was one of the most hotly anticipated dates on my calendar is by no means hyperbole - I have been absolutely frothing for this show.

These boys know how to pen a tune alright! A slew of hits emerged from the five-piece’s respective outpouring with tracks such as ‘Mother’, ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ and ‘Colossus’ resonated and reverberated in the hearts and minds of the blacked-out venue’s punters. There was never any question that attendees were in the musical know, so beer-assisted karaoke was an absolute must for long-time fans and casual revelers.

Sunday's event was comprised of a marvellous spread of their establishing album Brutalism and their most recent, high rotation opus Joy As An Act Of Resistance and not a single lyric or audience-exploring guitar line were out of place. All the wonderful live tropes were present, with crowd surfing guitarists flailing limbs all over the show. 

All New Zealand dates for this merry ragtag gang sold out and it was easy to see why. These fellows are absolutely stellar at bringing the ruckus to an otherwise quiet and relaxed venue and it was an absolute pleasure to witness. These gents have gained legendary status, with their AF Gang fan club - a 21st century, positivity-based equivalent to the Kiss Army which I was added to upon liking the band’s social media. It was clear to see this contingent were out in force, with smiles being thrown around the room like rice at a wedding.

Two-thirds of the way through the show UTR maverick photographer (and the fellow who introduced me to Idles) Connor Crawford was drawn up to the stage for classic Brutalism-era tune ‘Exeter’. He 100% deserved to be up there, dueting with the lady distributing golden badges adorned with the lyrics to the tune ‘Television’. In my mind both of these cats were superfans numero-uno. It is always gratifying to see the people who are the clearly the biggest band aficionados being recognised by the artists that they love, in a passionate moment of musical love.

My socks were rocked and my gob was smacked by this unstoppable aural force. As one would expect from a good show, the post-set line for the merch booth was considerably longer then line for the thirst-quenching bar. To be frank, I can't wait to do it all again this evening. 


Idles return to The Tuning Fork tonight (already sold out sorry) and are wrapping up their New Zealand shows with a headline appearance at Wellington's Meow on Tuesday. Check out Connor Crawford's image gallery via clicking on the thumbnails below...


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