There is still something profoundly exciting about lining up for a gig, appropriating your selected spot and waiting in anticipation with a few hundred others for your chosen band. This time we had to trek up to Camden Lock and Dingwalls for the third and last night of Idlewild’s residency where there were playing all their albums over three nights – something they did last year at King Tuts in Glasgow.
Although I would have been more than happy to try and make all three nights (with the first performance of Post Electric Blues, the self released – almost – new album) the lad and I could only make the last night Make Another world and The Remote Part, in part as celebration of the end his exams
Idlewild have been a long held favourite of mine, generating the kind of personal allegiance only a very few artists can. There is something about the unavoidable Scottish-ness of the band and its music, not just the lyrics or Roddy Woombles vocals, but the chord structures that make it resonate so deeply.
Anyhow with a prime by-a-railing-on-a-kind-of-balcony position we stood ready with our over priced pints in hand. Make Another World was the first half of the set, and whilst I have always found it to be perhaps the patchiest of their albums, live it came imbued with more punch and drive; punchier than when we saw them tour the album first time around.
The 450 in the crowd were obviously going to be paid up supporters and responded accordingly. A Ghost in the Arcade and If It Takes You Home being personal and crowd favourites it seems.
A short break and they returned to play The Remote Part – fired up for this harder but still melodic set of tracks. Clearly this was what the crowd anted and very fine stuff it was as well. You Held The Whole World In Your Hands, American English, A Modern Way of Letting Go – breathless, punchy stuff – the final track Scottish Fiction saw them leave with the tape of Edwin Morgan speaking out his poetry.
The encores largely went back to earlier !00 Broken Windows and Hope Is Important tracks – Fireworks and Captain earning particular grateful shouts, and then all too soon it was over. A great night, sounded brilliant, band seemed happy and relaxed.
Its always a worry hoping a band lives up to your expectations or hopes – how great it is when they exceed them. The long but elated drive home, an evening very well spent
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