The Beachland Ballroom

Album: Crawler (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Named after a popular venue in Cleveland, Ohio, this song is about Idles' rise to an international act.
  • In 2018, Idles played Cleveland's Beachland Tavern to around 50 people. "When we were there, we looked in at the ballroom next to it and there was a guy polishing the floors, so we weren't allowed to step in, and it felt like there was this gap," guitarist Mark Morton recalled to Cleveland magazine. "Someone said, 'One day you guys will probably play in there.'"

    Less than a year after that performance, the hardcore punks returned to Cleveland and played a 75-minute set in the ballroom to a sold-out crowd.
  • Singer Joe Talbot doesn't mention either Cleveland venue in the lyrics, but the title of "The Beachland Ballroom," captures its message of growth. "There's so many bands that go through the small rooms and dream of making it into the big rooms. Being able to write a soul tune like this made me go, f--k - we're at a place where we're actually allowed to go to these big rooms and be creative and not just go through the motions and really appreciate what we've got," said Talbot.

    "The song is sort of an allegory of feeling lost and getting through it. It's one that I really love singing."
  • The iconic Ohio venue has played its part in music history. Bands like The Black Keys and The White Stripes served part of their apprenticeship in the Ballroom and Arcade Fire played a Barack Obama benefit rally there for his 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Idles released "The Beachland Ballroom" on September 28, 2021, as the first single from Crawler. Recorded with co-producers Kenny Beats and guitarist Mark Bowen, the album finds the Bristol band in an experimental mood. They described this track as an "honest-to-goodness soul song."

    "I didn't know Joe could sing like that," said Bowen. "He's been trying to write 'Be My Baby' since the very beginning, but he didn't want to be the punk guy wearing the Motown clothes. He wanted it to feel natural, and this song is."
  • Idles performed the song on the November 3, 2021 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. It was the English group's debut appearance on US television.

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