Idles on how a jigsaw puzzle landed them a support slot with Foo Fighters

IDLES frontman Joe Talbot has revealed how a jigsaw puzzle helped them land a support slot with the Foo Fighters.

The opportunity came back in 2017 when IDLES had just released their debut LP ‘Brutalism‘. They found out that they were on a shortlist of bands who could potentially open for Dave Grohl and co at their show at the O2 Arena in London.

“They had a shortlist of five to ten bands, I think,” Talbot said while appearing as a guest on SPIN’s Lipp Service podcast.


He continued: “And apparently… they pick the bands themselves; they had the shortlist. We found out, and we thought to get ahead of the bunch, we’d make a puzzle – like a jigsaw puzzle – with a photo of our bassist on it. In his pants. It just said: ‘Pick Idles’.

“I just built the box and wrote, ‘If you build it they will come’ on it. And they fucking did.”


@I D L E S #joetalbot @SPIN #lippsservice on the jigsaw puzzle that got them the @Foo Fighters tour @Sonos are the best speakers on the planet #idles #foofighters #davegrohl

♬ original sound – Lipps Service

Recently, Talbot spoke to NME about the prospect of the band stepping up to headline Glastonbury or Reading & Leeds in the future.

Asked about the prospect of headlining Reading & Leeds as part of last week’s NME In Conversation interview, Talbot replied: “Do I want it? It was the first and only festival I went to for six years. Headlining Reading would be sick, yeah. Things like that, you build them up in your head and it goes wrong. Every show is important, but yes, that has a history with me.

“I don’t like all that ‘Museum Of Rock History’ stuff where you’re like, ‘This is where Kurt Cobain sneezed’. Who the fuck cares? He didn’t care, why would I care? All the great people I’ve met like Kenny BeatsNigel Godrich, [Foo Fighters‘] Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, [The Strokes‘] Julian Casablancas – all people I’ve looked up to – when you meet them, it’s not like they’re humble and all ‘namaste’ or any of that shit, but they work hard. They understand why they are where they are. They’re like, ‘I have purpose and I am working’.”


He continued: “I like that thing where you see people who have worked hard, stuck to their game and have got purpose. It’s a beautiful thing to see, and I want to sustain that myself. Yeah, I’m here because of what I’ve been doing! I’ve worked hard for this and I’m not going to apologise!”

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The band recently released their fifth album ‘Tangk’ earlier this month (February 16). In a four-star reviewNME said the project was “the most open-hearted we’ve ever seen them”, adding: “The ambitious and mature fifth album has its hand on its heart and feet on the dancefloor, as the Bristol band prove that they’re so much more than punk.”

In other news, Talbot recently shared the three tracks he recommends to help get kids to sleep at bedtime.

The recommendation came as the singer-songwriter appeared on CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories as the latest musician to take part in the children’s series.

Idles are also set to tour in the UK, IrelandEurope and North America throughout 2024, having kicked off the stint in Belgium earlier this month. Visit here for any remaining UK/Ireland tickets and here for US tickets.