Welcome to the AF Gang and it’s so great to have them hosting the up and coming stage at the Futurama. For those who don’t know what the AF Gang is, it started out as a group on Facebook for fans of the band IDLES. It was set up in 2017 as a community fan page but as the popularity of the IDLES grew so did the AF Gang and in some ways took on a life of its own with the brilliance of the IDLES being the glue that held it all together. It now has 30,000 members from all over the world and it is growing every day as the IDLES umbrella of love attracts more and more people to the AF Gang. It is run by three wonderful people Lindsay Melbourne (who has family in Liverpool) Louise Hughes and Brian Mimipress.
This is no weird cult by the way, it’s a gang and a very loose one at that, there’s no admin fees or rules apart from being kind and supportive to each other! Here, you can talk about the IDLES, music and bands old and new but more importantly this is a place where you can bring your problems, air your grievances, give vent to your frustrations and open yourself up to a set of people who are both supportive and non-judgmental. Let’s face it we all have our own set of worries. As another of the admin Louise Hughes says “ We’re all a bit broken, a bit flawed and a bit damaged. We are all just normal people who have to deal with life’s curve balls”. These problems are what make us human and even though every person’s story is unique the AF Gang has helped so many people and by having this Facebook group it has meant there is always a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on! Proving the old adage “A problem shared is a problem halved”. As IDLES bassist Adam Devonshire says “We love it, the AF Gang is a wonderful thing and it does overwhelm us how much of a positive effect it has had on people”.
The IDLES and their music have made a remarkable change to the music scene in the UK! A genuine punk rock band who make pulverising, brutal music but sing about politics, pain, honesty and life and their message is simple ‘Start by loving yourself…whatever your circumstance you are amazing’. They have inspired a whole new set of bands not just in Bristol but all over the UK with their post punk music and singer Joe Talbot’s rallying cry of ‘Be yourself’ Don’t forget in ‘Brutalism’ and ‘Joy as an act of resistance’ they have made two of the finest British albums for many a year and the new album ‘Ultra Mono’ came out in September 2020.’ As Brian Mimipress says “I’d thought I’d seen and heard it all but then bam the IDLES music just punched me in the face and changed everything”.
As well as loving the IDLES the AF Gang on Facebook is the perfect place to hear new music and the most exciting new bands in the country and across the globe. Lindsay, Louise & Brian all have impeccable taste when it comes to music and encouraging to new bands to get their music out there. That’s why it’s so great having them here to curate and DJ at the ‘Up and coming’ stage at the Futurama. There will be an AF Gang stall there for the weekend where you can buy their rather ace merchandise but there will be also an area where AF Gang members can meet up and chat to people they’ve only met online. As, Lindsay says “We’ve been planning to do an AF event at a festival for some time now and this is the perfect opportunity to test it out, I love Liverpool, my sister lives here & what better place to hang out with the gang & put on some of the best new bands in the country.”
Photos courtesy of Judith Zandwijk: Join the AF Gang on Facebook or on the website www.afgang.co.uk