Bristol punks look like future headliners
Dom Gourlay
18:28 3rd September 2018

It was left to band of the moment - if not the year - Idles to bring down the curtain on an explosive final day at End of the Road. While the traditional Sunday morning exodus meant the site wasn't as busy as it had been for the rest of the weekend, the clamour for entry to the Big Top meant security and stewards were busy well before the Bristol five-piece took to the stage. Having released eagerly anticipated second album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance' some 48 hours earlier, this evening's set was heavy with material from said album.

Opening with 'Colossus' and 'Never Fight A Man With A Perm', the band tore into a ferocious rendition of 'Mother' before 'Danny Nedelko' brought the crowdsurfers and moshers out en masse. 'Great' and 'Samaritans' were further highlights off the new record while 'Benzocaine' and 'Exeter' represented 'Brutalism''s heavier side. Finishing with regular set closer 'Rottweiler', singer Joe Talbot introducing it by urging the audience not to buy The Sun. Idles' upward trajectory looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, and with next year's festival line ups already starting to take shape, the smart money would be on them topping several bills in 2019.

Prior to that, French psychedelic post punks The Liminanas wowed a sun drenched (and ultimately sweat soaked) audience on the main stage earlier in the day. As the mid afternoon sun shone down like a beacon, the septet played a set largely consisting of material off most recent long player 'Shadow People' including 'Istanbul Is Sleepy' and 'The Gift' alongside choice covers of Can's 'Mother Sky' and Van Morrison (and Them's) 'Gloria'. Sitting somewhere between New Order at their most industrial and the dreamy haze of The Brian Jonestown Massacre or latter period Velvet Underground, they're another revelation from what's been an incredible weekend of music.

A rare UK appearance by David Thomas Broughton also united both the curious and those already converted to his experimental improvisations. Born and bred in West Yorkshire but nowadays based in South Korea, his fifty minute set ranged from outlandish folk including references to Greggs', various states of undress and confrontational passages of reverb and feedback. What that meant was a packed Tipi Tent transfixed throughout a performance that constantly pushes boundaries while conforming to no one along the way. Having played the first three editions of End Of The Road, it proved to be a welcome return for one of the UK's most unique and compelling artists.

Danish post punks Iceage also stirred up a hornets nest in the BIg Top. Having constantly changed their sound - some would say almost beyond recognition - throughout their career since emerging a decade ago, they're another act that stand out from the crowd on Sunday's bill. Playing a set heavily weighted towards this year's fourth long player 'Beyondless', frontman Elias Bender Ronnenfelt's belligerent demeanour fits succinctly with the unholy noise that surrounds him. Musically reminiscent of The Ex, Idlewild and X Ray Spex in equal measures, they're a lively antidote to this evening's (mostly) folk heavy bill across its other stages.

Elsewhere, John Cale and Ezra Furman warmed up for each other's sets later that day with a mid afternoon chat on the not-so-secret Piano Stage while late night slots from Amyl & The Sniffers and supergroup of sorts Boy Genius ensured the party continued long into the early hours.

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Photo: Shaun Gordon