The Lad, Mr International Decorator Supremo and I lined up a little forlornly outside the new Birmingham Academy with another couple of dozen people to see the perennially wonderful Idlewild. Alongside us were 2000 of Birmingham finest 15 year olds in all their finery waiting to get into see Calvin Harris (apparently voluntarily though heaven knows why). Once inside we took our places with childlike enthusiasm and expectation by the crash barrier up front. I am curiously thrilled and disappointed in equal parts that a band like Idlewild now play to 600 capacity halls rather than the 1500 or 2000 of old, but then I guess it’s a crowd of serious fans not the passing faddists of Calvin Harris et al.
The Olympic Swimmers (renamed from the curious Hindle Wakes of before) gave a, too brief, fine account of themselves, although apparently one down due to illness and left in the bus. Their two track CD, lovingly hand printed by front girl Susie Liddell a very modest two quid from the merch stand.
After the inevitable faffing around of roadies etc our wee Scots heroes took to the stage around nine OK and proceeded to knock out one brilliant song after another from a set list that lasted for an hour and a half. Almost impossible to pick out particular highlights but A Modern Way of Letting Go is affine exit.
I have to say the band looked like they were really enjoying the experience which is always good to see. The new album, the break from the confines of previous labels and perhaps the shows in Scotland and London doing back to back performances of the back catalogue seems to have brought them to refreshed vigour and energy.
Having remarked that you don’t see much moshing/crowdsurfing these days (maybe I go to the wrong gigs?), the exuberant crowd got pretty damned close in the second half of the show, and if I was less restrained I might have joined in…now that would be a sight!
A chap who must have been almost right next to me video’d a couple of songs and can be seen on the Facebook pages here and here– I know such clips are only really any good for those remembering and pretty rubbish for anyone not there, but there you go.
So a wonderful, uplifting gig, nothing like it when it goes so brilliantly right, you step outside the daily humdrum and into another place, bless their little beardy faces
Olympic Swimmers Myspace
Photo credit: International Decorator Supremo