IDLES “Mr. Motivator”
Laura: IDLES have really been looking after their fans during lockdown. As a proud AF Gang member (the IDLES fan group on Facebook) I have had the pleasure of seeing Jon (drums), Dev (bass), Leeeeee (rhythm guitar), Bobo (lead guitar) and Joe (vocals) live on YouTube interviewed via Zoom by AF Gang Admin and my great friend, Brian Mimpress, from his Goth Kitchen. They have been interacting with the fans regularly in the group, in the YouTube chats and on Instagram. Their Bataclan gig from Dec 2018 was released for free on YouTube and they’ve even played a gig in the world of Minecraft. These guys are so down to earth, funny and part of their own fandom as strange as that sounds. The Goth Kitchen interviews were such a success that more bands (John (TimesTwo) so far, and Frauds and many more to come) have signed up to be interviewed by everyone’s fave goth granddad. In addition, AF Gang members have now been put in the spotlight, being interviewed by Lindsay, Louise and Brian, the three amazing humans who run the group.
It was an extra wonderful surprise then on Tuesday 19th May, when what we were expecting to be a workout class with Dev, actually turned out to be IDLES brand new single and video from their forthcoming album which will be arriving soon, but no confirmed date as yet. “Mr. Motivator” is an absolutely banging track, relentless from start to finish in that signature IDLES style. For those of you not from the UK and at least in their mid-30s, Mr. Motivator was an exercise bloke, on breakfast TV in the ’90s. He got many a neon-clad housewife on their knees and stretching those legs back in the day. And that’s precisely what IDLES do here too.
The video includes the band members, their management and their fans, plucked straight from the AF Gang, doing their best work out routines, and dancing like there is no tomorrow. Joe Talbot yells, “Let’s seize the day, all hold hands, chase the pricks away. You can do it!”. I don’t think anyone has ever given me the motivation to get off my fat ass and do a workout before, not even Mr. Motivator himself, but IDLES do. As they are my go-to gym tunes, this isn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last.
This single is exactly what IDLES and all post-punk fans needed during this worldwide quarantine. We’re a sociable bunch and not being able to go to gigs, pubs and meet up with our mates is really difficult. For some, the AF Gang is the only family they know. They are the closest people to them in the world and a real community. I’ve said it before, but it really is the most beautiful corner of the internet where you will only receive support and friendship. There is but one rule: don’t be a dick. If you are, you’re out. It’s quite simple. Their mantra is All is Love, and their slogan is KFG (Keep F**king Going). The band and their fans ooze this passion and positivity for their fellow (wo)man and “Mr Motivator” bottles that feeling perfectly. The surprise release got the IDLES community buzzing, and seeing my friends having a laugh in the video of their favourite band is a true joy.
Sound-wise, the track is more Brutalism than Joy as an Act of Resistance, and that suits me down to the ground. I have heard that the new album is relentlessly pounding throughout, it won’t let you catch your breath for a second. To say I am excited is an understatement. IDLES fans have a lot to be excited about, with yet another surprise coming in the next few weeks. Keep a close eye on the AF Gang website for more details. So, make “Like Kathleen Hannah with bear claws grabbing Trump by the pussy” get your Lycra on and listen to “Mr. Motivator” here.