For the first time, two bands win the award that crowns the year’s most im­pres­sive emer­gence. Lon­don in­die-rock quar­tet Goat Girl and punk-rock five-piece IDLES share the hon­ours.

Q (UK) - - Awards 2018 - Pre­sen­ters: Gaz Coombes mbes & MØ GE­ORGE GAR­NER


How was it to win Best Break­through Act at the Q Awards?

Lot­tie “Clot­tie Cream” Pendle­bury (vo­cals/gui­tar): There are all these big shots like Jorja Smith, Re­jjie Snow, and it’s like, “No way…” It’s pretty daunt­ing. I held back speak­ing on the mic, I felt a bit out of it. It was re­ally not ex­pected at all. The whole thing is quite sur­real for us – we’re not used to these kind of awards where there are re­ally fa­mous peo­ple ev­ery­where. It’s so ex­cit­ing to be meet­ing Shaun Ry­der and Jarvis Cocker. Jarvis is on our ta­ble and he’s an in­spir­ing man, even just his taste in mu­sic.

And where will the award live now?

I don’t think it’s go­ing to have one des­ig­nated home. We’ll all take turns touch­ing it.

You’re shar­ing the award with IDLES...

It’s all been hap­pen­ing at the same time for us and IDLES, it’s nice to share it with an­other great band. I think from both bands’ per­spec­tives it was well-de­served. I rate them and the way they started from re­leas­ing records with a DIY ethos and the suc­cess that came with that for them is re­ally im­pres­sive.

If you could cre­ate your own Q Award and give it to some­one – what would it be and who would you give it to?

Prob­a­bly my friend’s band Great Dad and I’d give them Over­all Best Mu­sic Mak­ers And Per­form­ers. They’re based in South Lon­don and I ac­tu­ally live with one of the guys from it.

Why do you think your de­but al­bum con­nected with peo­ple this year?

Maybe it’s the level of hon­esty. The lyrics are com­ing from a place of truth and aware­ness, and that needs to be voiced more in mu­sic. It speaks to peo­ple and res­onates with them. It’s an agenda that’s not al­ways heard.

Speak­ing of agen­das, on Burn The Stake you sing: “Build a bon­fire, put the Tories on the top/Put the DUP in the mid­dle.” Who else should go on the bon­fire?

It’s a big, dis­gust­ing, fiery sand­wich. Af­ter them, var­i­ous politi­cians, bankers, the House Of Lords, I guess. Maybe I’ll just do a Guy Fawkes and burn the whole thing down. Our fans have re­ally em­braced the things we’re say­ing about pol­i­tics and life in gen­eral.

Have you thought about writ­ing your sec­ond record yet?

We’re def­i­nitely think­ing about new songs, but it’s also about go­ing to lots of gigs and feel­ing in­spired by ways in which other peo­ple are do­ing it. There’s a whole jour­ney you have to go through mak­ing mu­sic, it’s not just about sit­ting down in a room and play­ing with each other. It’s about in­volv­ing your­self in the world and tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from what’s around you.


Hello. To quote the ti­tle of a song from your de­but, Well Done! Joe Tal­bot (vo­cals): Thank you.

How do these sort of big awards cer­e­monies sit with IDLES’ world­view?

I’m very happy to be here, among peo­ple who have sup­ported us. It’s very bizarre, and it would be very un­healthy for it not to feel bizarre. It’s not nor­mal. But I’m very grate­ful. I’ve not been to any­thing like this be­fore. I’m not so keen on hav­ing my photo taken. I wish I’d done a speech, I’ve never done a speech.

What would you have said?

I love you, Mike Skin­ner. And I love you,

Ghetts. And then I prob­a­bly would have left. But it’s one of those things, you can’t bite the hand that feeds. There’s a lot of in­ter­est­ing peo­ple here. You were very sleepy and vague when you got off the tour­bus an hour ago. Has the day got bet­ter?

I’ve had a can of coke. Am I still off the

sauce? No, I have a beer now and then, but I’m off it again as be­ing mid-tour is not a good place to be drink­ing. I have to be care­ful, it’s back and forth. I’m an al­co­holic, it’s a nev­erend­ing story. I’ve never been on a sleeper [ tour] bus be­fore. It’s weird ly­ing there.

You toured Amer­ica last sum­mer. How was it?

You find out the al­bum is uni­ver­sal, it’s not in­su­lar. It’s about ex­plo­rations of the self. It’s about ex­is­ten­tial crises in tur­bu­lent times, so I think Amer­i­cans will get it as much, if not more so, than the British. There’s a re­ally vig­or­ous in­tent among the au­di­ences there.

Any big he­roes knock­ing around here to­day?

Mike Skin­ner. He’s a mas­sive in­flu­ence on me. He’s the most vi­brant and idio­syn­cratic artist that has come out of this coun­try in a

long time. He uni­fied a gen­er­a­tion in some ways. Noel Gal­lagher – I was never an Oa­sis fan but Dev [ Adam Devon­shire], our bassist, loves them. Ghetts is some­one I re­ally re­spect, I used to watch videos of him freestyling for 45 min­utes. An amaz­ing artist. And Gaz Coombes, I love his new solo record.

Are you the kind of bloke who’ll go up and tell them?

Yeah. You only have one chance. If they turn out to be a prick, you can move on. I like to meet my he­roes. You can learn some­thing about them or your­self. You might find out your fan­dom is a lie. But it’s good to chal­lenge your­self.

Be­cause IDLES’ songs ex­pose so much about your pri­vate life and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, does it feel odd be­ing in a room with ev­ery­one know­ing that stuff?

No. It’s nec­es­sary. It’s part of my lan­guage. That trans­parency I have now has helped me feel sup­ported. It’s part of my ther­apy. From coun­selling, I learned that open­ing up and be­ing vul­ner­a­ble is a real strength­ener.

Will you guys be well-be­haved to­day, or are IDLES a bit wild?

No. Maybe some danc­ing on ta­bles. Bowen [ Mark, guitarist] likes to do that kind of shit. When we get shit­ted, we can be ar­se­holes, but we’re on tour, so we have to be good. If we were hav­ing a week off, I’d be jump­ing on Gaz Coombes’s back.

The about song the Colos­sus weight of talks a fa­ther’s shadow on a son. Would your dad be pleased with you get­ting a Q award?

Yes. He’s been in­volved in the al­bum and cu­rated the ex­hi­bi­tion we’re do­ing in Lon­don and New York. He’s an artist, a sculp­tor. He taught me ev­ery­thing I know about cre­ative think­ing, and I’ll al­ways be grate­ful to him.

While you’re here, will you be avoid­ing rucks with permed blokes, as ad­vised by Never Fight A Man With A Perm?

The rea­son­ing be­hind that song is that any­one with a perm must be such a psychopath that his friends can’t tell him how stupid he looks. It was based on a real per­son, he’s prob­a­bly dead by now.

Not Roger Dal­trey then?

That’s not a perm. And I could take him any­way. I’m jok­ing!

“It’s very bizarre to be here. It’s not nor­mal.” Joe Tal­bot

“It’s nice to share it”: Goat Girl, Round­house, Lon­don, 17 Oc­to­ber, 2018.

Dig the new breed: fea­tur­ing IDLES’ Joe Tal­bot (stand­ing, far left), Goat Girl’s Lot­tie Pendle­bury (stand­ing, third left), with MØ and Gaz Goombes (stand­ing, sec­ond right and far right).

The naked crunch: IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen gets car­ried away dur­ing the band’s awards night per­for­mance.

En­joyed as an act of re­sis­tance: IDLES live at the Round­house, 17 Oc­to­ber, 2018.

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