Dave Smith Tour and Music News

In 2020 there’s always news, but at least there’s always Idles – a look ahead to the band’s third album

Posted on 30 May 2020 at 10:45am

Late in the Friday evening of April 18th, 1930, those in the UK with the sufficient inclination and technological means to sit around a wireless set and learn of the latest world events were greeted by something quite unusual: they were told, presumably in that clipped, BBC Queen’s English accent, that there was no news.

Instead, families now sporting presumably bemused faces were treated to some light piano tickling before they, presumably, stood for the national anthem, said their prayers and prepared for a pleasant weekend pottering around the garden.

It’s something that hasn’t happened since, and something we can safely assert will never happen again; almost exactly 50 years after there was no news, there was the launch of CNN in America. By the end of the eighties, Sky News had followed in the UK, in time for the Gulf War to forever cement 24-hour rolling news as an unavoidable, if not increasingly lamentable, aspect of modern life.

Even so, if there was ever a year that needed 24-hour rolling news, it’s 2020 – a year which had already managed to cram in a final Brexit, devastating bush fires and Trump showboating in Asia before a global pandemic shutdown life as we know it, taking with it lives and livelihoods along the way. In some parts of the world, it’s still only just getting started.

Back in the halcyon days of 2018, when Brexit and Trump were the most pressing shared concern in our lives, a band from Bristol were gearing up to succeed a debut album with which they’d built a fierce reputation and even fiercer devotion. Brutalism had shown that band, namely Idles, to be of a rare breed.

By taking personal stories and memories – whether it be growing up on a dead end street, having their outlook on life changed by a friend confiding mental health struggles, or family ties to the NHS – and wrapping them up in melody and chaos, these became unifying songs of a kind which anyone, anywhere, could search through and find something which spoke to their life too.

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Live4ever’s Best Of 2019: The Tracks

Posted on 10 Dec 2019 at 6:58am

On our Best Albums list, 2019 brought us future classics from Fontaines D.C., Dave, The Murder Capital, FEET, slowthai and black midi to name just a few. Those and plenty more feature too on our favourite tracks of the year.

Picked out by editor David Smith from the hundreds which have featured on these pages during the past twelve months, Sinead O’Brien, Dry Cleaning, Black Country New Road, Kate Tempest and Working Men’s Club are just some who have added to a year which, whilst nostalgia has continued its grip on the mainstream, has quietly created a vintage all of its own.

Live Review: ‘For all people’ – Idles, Fontaines D.C. at Brooklyn Steel, NYC

Posted on 13 May 2019 at 7:24am

‘The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time’ goes the George Bernard Shaw quote, one now so ubiquitous you can find it emblazoned on novelty coffee mugs.

This isn’t the start of a debate about the unchanging human condition but one has to wonder, by determinedly writing about themselves these past few years, whether Idles have been doing so about all people and all time. After all, just in our time there’s Boris, border walls and Brexit. And of course there’s Trump, who’s not even good enough to be alliterative.

And, committing the cardinal sin of success has had the likes of Sleaford Mods and Fat White Family pouring scorn on their more celebrated contemporaries; ’A phoney is someone who demands respect for the principals they affect’, Grian Chatten grumbles tonight when opening Fontaines D.C’s set with Chequeless Reckless, immediately offering up their own very pertinent quote to said naysayers.

Fontaines are in New York following the release of Dogrel, a debut album entrenched in the highs, lows and evolution of their native city to a degree few have matched. Dublin, its people, and the band’s formative experiences there dominate the record and thus the evening’s (May 10th) first show. As cliched as it is, once Big ends proceedings with that defiant, banging mission statement, this truly does feel like a band already matured, already with a distinct voice and identity.

Live4ever’s Best Of 2018: ‘It’s been a very compassionate exchange’ – Idles talk Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Posted on 17 Dec 2018 at 8:22am

During 2018, bravery has come in many forms.

Upon the centenary of the Armistice, it was there on the faces of those experiencing the horrors of the Western Front, vividly brought back to life by Peter Jackson’s painstakingly restored footage. All things considered, its use should start and end there.

Yet it has also been used to describe Billy Monger, stood on artificial limbs last night collecting the Helen Rollason Award after returning to racing at the age of 19 less than a year on from his life-changing accident, speaking eloquently for as long as Clare Balding saw fit.

It’s been Eric Dier, a footballer who normally plays like he’s experiencing gravity differently to the rest of us, stepping up to take the decisive penalty during England’s shootout with Colombia at the World Cup. It’s been used to lend some narrative to a small group of bug-bitten celebrities gulping down mashed-up fish eyes for our viewing pleasure, complete with Holly Willoughby dry-wretching in the background.

And yes, it’s been used to describe the many virtues of Idles’ second studio album Joy As An Act Of Resistance.

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Live4ever’s Best Of 2018: The Tracks

Posted on 10 Dec 2018 at 7:50am

Live4ever’s Best Of 2018 series starts today with our editor Dave Smith picking out 20 of his favourite tracks from the hundreds to have been highlighted on these pages through reviews, Tracks Of The Week, Presents interviews and video features during the course of another hectic year.

Live4ever’s Best Of 2017: The Tracks

Posted on 18 Dec 2017 at 9:52am

Following on from the Best Videos list picked by Live4ever’s Paul Bachmann, our editor Dave Smith continues the 2017 retrospective series with his picks of the tracks which have featured on Live4ever during the past twelve months.

Album Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?

Posted on 21 Nov 2017 at 12:26pm

Having his cake and eating it – a good way to describe life in the Noel Gallagher world since he walked away from Oasis in 2009.

While his marooned bandmates drifted aimlessly in their peculiar Beady Eye lifeboat, Gallagher was quickly back on terra firma with a suitcase packed full of his former band’s back catalogue and a debut solo record which could have been re-stamped as its eighth studio effort without many batting an eyelid.

Arenas, festival headlines and world tours soon followed, his second High Flying Birds LP Chasing Yesterday hinting at a broadening horizon without ever giving the impression that he was quite yet prepared to cut ties with a history he regularly claimed to have no lingering desire for.

Thus, if timing is everything in life, the point at which Noel has finally decided to ditch the desert spoon and sample some more outlandish nouveau cuisine couldn’t really have come at a more inopportune time.

Right Here, Right Now: The Story Of Oasis’ ‘Be Here Now’

Posted on 17 Dec 2016 at 11:41am

‘Be Here Now’. Crikey where to start?

Well if you like it, many would attest, you’re musically illiterate. A pint of lager and a packet of crisps please. A Saturday night can only be called a good Saturday night if it’s been rounded off at 4am with a healthy dose of fisticuffs and a taxi home in the back of a police van. You’re Mike Skinner‘s ‘The Irony Of It All‘ beer-swilling caricature in glorious reality. “Good clean grief you must believe and I ain’t no thief”.

You’re too ignorant for, and frankly don’t deserve, the nuances and painstaking effort which goes into a truly great rock record – all that went into ‘OK Computer‘, as a very pertinent example, since it was released just a few months before ‘Be Here Now‘ finally slaked the queues which were stretching out for miles from record shops on sun-scorched high streets that summer two decades ago. After seven days, well over a million people were already coming to terms with the UK’s biggest pop phenomenon since The Beatles.

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Live4ever Presents: The Bay Rays

Posted on 14 Jun 2016 at 8:18am


The Bay Rays are Harry Nicoll (vocals/guitar), Anthus Davis (bass/backing vocals) and Maxwell Oakley (drums/backing vocals).

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Review: Live4ever’s verdict on the new Stone Roses single ‘All For One’

Posted on 13 May 2016 at 4:27am

Matt Humphrey:

Are some things better left alone? Maybe, but an insatiable curiosity for what might be possible can often trump one’s protection of a legacy.



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