Idlewild

Idlewild

It’s a cliché I know, but you forget just how many stonking songs this band has until you do your research. Great retrospective performance from Roddy and his lot.

Date: December 13, 2015

Venue: Rescue Rooms

Originally scheduled as one of Rock City’s flurry of 35-year anniversary gigs, Idlewild’s part in that particular celebration has been downgraded and takes place at its sister venue, the Rescue Rooms.

If truth be told, it is a more comfortable fit for the band anyway.

And it’s not like they care.

Roddy Woomble has always been the humble front man to the band; a man who has led his charges from pulsating neo-grunge, to songs that heralded them is the British R.E.M. and then folk-rock.

He’s not one to worry himself about crowd size.

And why should he? This career-straddling set list reminds those that could be bothered to buy a ticket just what a great band they are.

And he does so with a dodgy larynx after a tour that ends here.

Switching seamlessly from the mellow to the chaotic with bouts of whatever the equivalent to Scottish Americana is, this sextet – complete with pianist and violinist – are masters of their trade.

The audience are clearly in favour of the band’s early oeuvre, as they bounce to Roseability, and mosh to Film for the Future with its piercing, Hitchcock-esque stabs of violin.

When I Argue I See Shapes is toned down from its abrasive recorded version, but still sounds rapier-sharp.

A Modern Way of Letting Go wins the prize for ‘Most Chaotic’, with chugging riffs and ballsy bass, which are slightly out of kilter from the tune.

Meanwhile Love Steals Us from Loneliness and You Held the World in Your Arms are the R.E.M.-like worldies, while the singalong American English is a moment of sheer beauty.

It should, by rights, end the set, but that accolade goes to In Remote Part, as it swirls and dives in harmonic indie bliss.

With that they’re gone, and the Rescue Rooms was the perfect setting for their farewell.

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