They’ve been away for a while, but it’s bloody good to have Idlewild back.
It’s Friday night in Camden, and a couple of thousand punters have descended on the Roundhouse to see one of the most underrated British bands of the last 20 years. After the release of their storming seventh album, Everything Ever Written (their first in five years), Idlewild are back in a big way.
Their comeback UK tour has been a resounding success, and the Roundhouse seems a suitably glorious venue to draw this current string of dates to a close.
Ambling on stage just after 9pm, they head straight into a new song, the gentle and rather sweet ‘Nothing I Can Do About It’. If that gives the impression that this is going to be a quiet, brooding evening, then the next few songs quickly smash away those fears.
The anthemic classic, ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’, and the crunching rock of new album opener ‘Collect Yourself’ follow straight after, and from then on in the band have the audience lapping everything up. Basically, people go mental.
There’s crowdsurfing (even during the supposedly more chilled ‘Live in a Hiding Place’), a continued chorus refrain from the audience following ‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’, and the fervour that greets ‘Roseability’ is nothing short of heartwarming. Whilst frontman Roddy Woomble has calmed down a little over the years, he’s still an engaging and charismatic frontman, and often disappears off to the side of the stage to let his bandmates take the limelight. Indeed, the instrumental jam at the end of ‘(Use It) If You Can Use It’, during which guitarist Rod Jones takes centre stage, is a personal highlight.
At the end of the main set it’s hard to see how they can top all that. But then they do. A superb 4-song encore that concludes with the fuzzy punk of ‘A Modern Way of Letting Go’ and the quintessential Idlewild tune, ‘In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction’ (complete with spoken word sample from legendary poet Edwin Morgan), draws things so a thrilling conclusion, and the smiles on the faces of the band as they leave the stage suggest it’s been just as enjoyable for them as it was for us.
And then that’s it. On a night like this it’s really difficult to understand why Idlewild have never been one of the biggest bands on the planet, but perhaps that’s part of what makes them so special to their sizable base of hardcore fans.
They came, saw and conquered, and hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years to see Idlewild headline shows like this again.
You can catch Idlewild later this month, as they’re supporting Frank Turner as he plays the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust on Sunday 29th March. Get your tickets here.
Nothing I Can Do About It
You Held the World in Your Arms
Make Another World
Every Little Means Trust
Live in a Hiding Place
Come on Ghost
A Film for the Future
So Many Things To Decide
Love Steals Us From Loneliness
(Use It) If You Can Use It
Too Long Awake
I Understand It
A Modern Way of Letting Go
In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction