GOAT GIRL & IDLES DLES
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.
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.