The Black Heart, London



Naomi Jeremiah


The Black Heart in Camden played host to another amazing line up of talented musicians on Saturday night. Supporting the rockin' STONE BROKEN, were London based band CAIRO SON, a band which I am always over the moon to hear live! Joining these two bands, and their first time playing in  London as part of their first UK tour were a band named IDLEWAR. Hailing from California, U.S, I have had a long wait to be able to see these guys live but it was worth every second, as they didn't disappoint.


Making up this hard rock IDLEWAR trio, are James Blake (Vocals / Bass), Rick Graham (Guitar), and Pete Pagonis (Drums). Making their way onto the tiny stage in a by now very humid room, I was elated that they went straight into 'Eleventeen' a song from their 2015 EP 'Dig In', and one of my absolute favourites. It's a heavy grinder, and was a perfect song to get the crowd moving.


The thing I find interesting about IDLEWAR is that they have this awesome heaviness to their music, every track is hook laden, has a fresh new sound, and yet at the same time can sound like they have been around long enough to be able to sound 'tight' when they perform. At times, their music has what I can only describe as 'grooves harking back to the seventies'. You can certainly hear their musical influences, and taking those from the likes of Zeppelin / Sabbath / AC/DC / and Clutch, you really are getting some awesome sounds out of these guys!


Blake's vocals are perfect to my ears. He has a hard rock sound that is full of so much soul and passion. He can ,during some songs, such as 'Chunk Of Me', make you want to rock and foot stomp, and yet with other songs, such as 'Feel The Pain', make you want to sit back, drink in hand, close your eyes, and get lost into the sweet, sweet sounds of IDLEWAR. I love this versatility, it keeps things interesting. One thing that doesn't change however is the heaviness, that IDLEWAR specialise in! It's hard to believe that James Blake is a physics teacher by day! He was born to be on a stage, and with a talent like his you can easily see why.


However, IDLEWAR is only IDLEWAR due to the magical combination of all three guys. Rick is a fantastic Guitarist, and being #DownTheFront it was great being able to observe his skilled fretwork. Plus he looks as though he loves what he does, and rocks out whilst doing so.


Pete's drumming is wonderful. He makes it look effortless. With a history of playing in heavier rock and metal  bands, he is no stranger to the sound that IDLEWAR are producing, and maybe his addition to this powerful hard rocking band, is the ingredient that makes it all just 'click'.


They played songs from both their EP, and their debut album 'IMPULSE' which was released a couple of months ago. An album with absolutely no fillers. This guys have talent in abundance and I enjoy listening to everything that they produce. If you love riff heavy, hook laden heavy sounding rock, IDLEWAR is for you!!


There were many people at the venue that night that hadn't heard of IDLEWAR previously, but by the end of their set, I am certain that they will now never forget them! They truly made an impact!


On top of the fact that they are phenomenal musicians, they are some of the most lovely, humble and down to earth people I have had the pleasure to meet. Chatting with them afterwards, and asking how their tour is going in the UK, James Blake's gratitude is overflowing. They are certainly living their dream right now, and are astounded to be doing so. His surprise around the community that is the 'Rock World' in the UK was evident. Yes, IDLEWAR, we love to rock, and we definitely love rocking to your mighty fine tunes. We also spoke about the difficulty that new bands have of 'making it', and it's something I hear about time and time again when chatting to bands. So, please support new bands, buy their music, and buy their merchandise. Please get out and see them live, be they from the UK or

otherwise. This talent can only succeed, if we are behind them every step of the way.


Luckily for me I get to see IDLEWAR again next week before they fly back home! I cannot wait! Check out our review of their debut album 'Impulse' via - happy listening!


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