Review: IdleGod at The Fleece, Bristol – 27/02/2019

© Max Harris (@rustymediacreative on Instagram)

It’s a Wednesday evening. You’re halfway through yet another mundane week at university / work / writing your novel… You’ve been listening to old favourites on Spotify for days, but now you’re getting a bit sick of them. You’ve also drunk too much tea, and are starting to crave a pint. You reckon that going to a gig will shake off the midweek blues, but you don’t want to hit up your usual scene. You want to hear something new, something fresh! But you don’t fancy anything too different. You still want to watch a band with plenty of high-gain guitars and crashy drums. Y’know, something proper. Something raw.

Enter George Edwards, who writes and performs under the name of IdleGod. His blend of influences, from My Bloody Valentine to John Frusciante and Deftones, manifests itself as a moody, bittersweet type of alternative pop rock. Filled with eerie falsetto vocals and electronic elements, Edwards’s music certainly has the potential to appeal to a more pop-loving audience, but, equally, wailing guitar solos and crash-filled drums sit well with the more old-school rock fans.

The band opened IdleGod‘s seven-song set with an eerie instrumental intro piece, establishing the dark, brooding mood for the gig. Although there was decent tonal variation between songs from the dreamy ‘Stars’ to the grungy ‘Infect’, the overall tone remained pretty surly throughout. Edwards’s composition and arrangement in his songs was exciting and never too predictable. However, the real focal point of IdleGod‘s performance was the guitar work from both Edwards and his lead guitarist, Louis-René Veillon. The two had wonderful onstage chemistry (a bit of a heartwarming ‘bromance’ was witnessed, I’ve got to say), and the interplay of Edwards’s more heavily distorted parts with Veillon’s cleaner, and sometimes funky, parts worked very well. Both played effortlessly, but with great precision and emotion. Veillon’s solos and Edwards’s tormented outro on ‘Polaroid’ were definitely a couple of the gig’s best moments.

However, technical issues did take a minor toll on the concert. The sound was mixed poorly by the venue, with nowhere near enough space given to properly hear Edwards’s vocals. It’s a shame that the sound quality at smaller or newer artists’ gigs clearly isn’t treated with much care at The Fleece. The venue is quite cavernous, too, and doesn’t suit smaller crowds well. Drummer Torin Brown also had to battle part of his kit quite literally falling apart more and more throughout the set. This was not an obvious problem, but did mean that he couldn’t play with as much assertion and power as he might otherwise. Brown’s playing was still tight, though, and served the songs’ shifts in texture and dynamics well. The other half of IdleGod‘s rhythm section, William Brookes, played tastefully too, but it would have been good to see him emerge from his shell a bit and be more visibly engaged in the performance.

That said, the overall impression of the IdleGod experience was strong. Edwards’s songwriting provided a real rollercoaster of emotions for the listener. The frontman played his heart out onstage in true rock n’ roll fashion, whether that was singing behind a mop of brown curls or throwing himself on the floor to play a solo flat on his back. Veillon also immersed himself in the music, exuding carefree confidence in his stage presence. The Fleece may not have been an ideal venue for the gig, but, with time and some minor tweaks, IdleGod‘s show should be right at home on a bigger stage or in front of a festival crowd. 7/10

© Emily Engleheart

George Edwards is IdleGod (left), and William Brooks on bass (right)
© Max Harris
Torin Brown on drums
© Max Harris
Louis and George share a moment!
© Max Harris
Guitar face for days from guitarist Louis-René Veillon
© Max Harris
Going out with a bang!
© Max Harris

I’d like to say a special thanks to the newest member at The Undercover Groupie team, Max Harris, who took these brilliant photos of IdleGod’s gig.

Do check out his work at @rustymediacreative on Instagram or follow this link:

One thought on “Review: IdleGod at The Fleece, Bristol – 27/02/2019

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