Think of being in a Newcastle away end.  Or anywhere supporting United. It’s an experience that is life affirming with a deep connection to the club and the City and surrounding areas that manifests itself in a surge of energy with likeminded people who, like yourself get a buzz you don’t get anywhere else. It’s sometimes as good as it gets.

Newcastle United does that to me and very good music does exactly that as well.

If you get the right band in the right surroundings, on the right form, it’s a replica of the nerve tangling feeling you get when your crammed in with a couple of thousand others supporting your club against thirty thousand plus people who aren’t.

In October 2018, with my appetite for more Mike Ashley at an all-time low, a band did this for me at the Riverside in Newcastle. That band were IDLES.

If you don’t know IDLES, you really should. They are everything a band should be. Very, very good. Vulnerable and fearless, intelligent and loud. They also are care and are left wing. Do I need to go on?

I have saw hundreds of bands over the years and very few replicate the feelings I get for United.  The sweaty mess I was in that night was akin to Solano scoring the winner at Leeds. I can give no higher praise than that.

One extra thing that night was, among the band on stage, was bassist Adam Devonshire. He was the cherry on the cake. Newcastle United Blue star Asics shirt from 1994. I needed to investigate.

Is this just one of those ‘put a shirt on for the city or town I’m playing ‘type thing, well no, Adam, or Dev, as he’s known, is a massive Mag.

Once these two worlds collide like this, it’s our duty as true faith writers to find out more. It would be rude not to.

So, fresh from playing two sets at Glastonbury, “I enjoyed it too much” Adam was kind enough to talk through the band and his love of Newcastle United.

Idles are not shy to big gigs, they’ve spent the last few years playing all around the world and being nominated for Brit Awards but the Glastonbury experience is a massive thing.

There’s a lot of weight to playing Glastonbury. Its where me and Joe (Talbot) met (Mark) Bowen and it means a lot to us as a band and people and the reaction of the crowd was magic.

 We were a bit hard on ourselves we maybe thought a few mistakes crept in but we seemed to get away with it in the end” 

Playing in front of tens of thousands of people at festivals is nothing new but that night at the Riverside in particular has to be brought up.

I dangled the carrot of it being like a Newcastle away end. Dev immediately sounded immensely proud of that description “It felt like a special one that. Me being a Toon fan I wanted to come up and put on a show. The Geordies are wonderful people so it’s a lot of fun to do you know”. So far so great.

The 1994 shirt he wore on stage that night was symbolic in more ways than wearing it in Newcastle. Adam began supporting the club that season.

“Yeah I started supporting the club in about 1994 when I was ten or eleven. The age when you start choosing a football team to support. The rest of the kids were into their Liverpool’s, Chelsea’s and Man U’s

But I just loved the black and white kit. They were doing really well in the Premier League, they’d just been promoted. So that was my first love really.

 It went from there, the next few years we had Les Ferdinand up front and it was the golden years wasn’t it really? We were so close to winning the title and the attacking football we played was magnificent.

 Those seasons were my favourite. They have to be really”

Unfortunately that was as good as it got, as Adam admits “I got lulled into a false sense of security. At that age I thought it was going to be like that forever” As we know it’s never been repeated but “hey ho” despite the “peaks and troughs” and “rocky roads” the excitement shows no signs of going.

“It’s been more troughs than anything else in the last few years what with Ashley, but I think everyone can get tentatively excited and maybe we have some light at the end of the tunnel”

Not only are Idles a good band but they do understatements really well.

What about the change of ownership then “They seem to be doing everything by the book, doing it properly, not just throwing money at unnecessary things they don’t need to, you know?

They seem to be doing it correctly and it’s an exciting time again isn’t it?”

 The club means so much to the City, being a one club Town it makes such a difference to peoples happiness”

The utter discord between club and City,  the sort of distain idles usually reserves for Tories,

Looks gone for now “yeah hopefully, I talked to Newcastle band Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs and they said the club under Ashley wasn’t going anywhere and the city was suffering as a result. It was quite sad really. The only worry now is being able to get a ticket which is great. Being in Bristol it was hard enough before. We need City up so it’s a local away game for me”

Next are the crunch questions. Favourite all time player and favourite current player. Dev doesn’t disappoint on either.

“I used to be a defensive midfielder or centre back (no shock given his size) so although I mentioned Ferdinand earlier my favourite player was David Batty. There’s something about that quiet, non assuming hard man. Never flashy, but just did the job really well. Between David Batty and Warren Barton actually. They were my favourites. But really you have to have a soft spot for your Shearers and Asprilla’s but yeah, Batty or Barton were my heroes”

Current?

“There’s been a few of the new players but for me, Kieran Trippier has been like a breath of fresh air. He’s come in, rejuvenated the club and showed what it means Newcastle. He’s been injured obviously but he seems to bring an air of professionalism and showing everyone the right way to do it. He leads by example … he’s my current favourite”

The team is shaping up already. Batty and Trippier together would have them beat in the tunnel. And with Devonshire at the back, well you know.

Another new boy has got Dev excited though.

“I’m excited to see Sven Botman. I think that’s over the line isn’t it? It’s been a saga hasn’t it but the club has stuck to their guns and got him. What a talent “

Living in Bristol it’s another exciting talent that Adam has been fully aware of “Elliott Anderson!”

“He smashed it at Rovers last year and he’s earned the right to be around the first team. Eddie Howe will mould him; he’s very, very exciting. I think he should be given a chance”

Where will we finish next season then Adam?

“Top ten would be great. Let’s not get away with ourselves. It’s going to be three or four years before we really start challenging.

 We are going places, the likes of Botman of the world have been persuaded to join us for the reason we are going places. Top ten for me and a cup run. That would do me.

 It’s not a short term project; the owners seem to be investing in youth, in the training ground. It’s for the long term. You have to take baby steps don’t you”

The voice of reason in a band? You better believe it and more to come.

Idles are a band who have played charity gigs all around the world and Dev himself has been involved in Man Down which look at male suicide in the music industry and gig buddies which partners autistic gig goers together so they can go to live events. Idles also have recently played a sold out show for Warchild, so you know where this is going.

Does the Saudi Arabian involvement bother him?

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t made me bothered. Listen I’m a humanist but I don’t know the ins and outs and how closely we are aligned. I don’t want to see any pain inflicted any human being anywhere on the planet.

 But we have no billionaire on the planet that hasn’t done that. That’s something I believe in but listen, footballs gone down the foreign owner route. It’s hard to separate that really but I’m a football fan, it’s my club.

 I don’t agree with the practices that’s happened but it’s not going to stop me supporting my club”

That could have been the vast majority of Mags saying that. That was well answered. Afterwards I felt like it’s a question that didn’t need to be asked but it really does, doesn’t it?

Back to the shirts.

Is it just Toon tops then?

“I only wear a football top on stage when I’m in Newcastle. Actually, no, I wore a Colombia top when I was in Colombia but apart from that it’s just Toon tops when I’m in Newcastle”

Quite right.

On that note I let him go for a well earned rest. He was engaging and thoroughly new his stuff. But really was Adam ever going to be anything else? He’s a Newcastle supporter.

Thanks to Scott Robson for the interview and to Adam Devonshire for his time – best of luck to IDLES in the future and we look forward to them coming back to Newcastle in the future. Click here for more information on the band.