Last gig of the year, most likely, and this time it is Idlewild in the hot, sweaty and gritty (you know what that aphorism means) Garage in Islington, accompanied by the Lad. This is one of these few dates to mark the tenth anniversary of 100 Broken Windows, that landmark album.
After a saunter around the Christmas lights bespangled Oxford and Regents streets, we took in our pizza and dessert before making our way up the Victoria Line to Highbury and Islington. The Garage has been refurbished but is still a modest and intimate 600 capacity venue.
First up were fellow scots Fatherson, a new (to me) three piece from ‘Kilmarnock near Glasgow ‘. Seems this band previously traded under Energy! and this was apparently their first London gig. To celebrate the fact, some knobs stole their laptops and camera during the soundcheck – welcome to London chaps…
The loss of kit to a young band (or frankly anyone else) is a harsh thing to deal with and so credit to them for not letting it affect their set. They put out a sound very redolent of current Scots indie bands, not a bad thing really, and a couple of songs in particular went down very well even on a first hearing, especially Gone Fission (I have been doing my homework since last night). As always its particularly hard to take on new music in a live situation but I will be digging around to listen to a bit more from the chaps.
Any support for this Idlewild gig would only be an appetiser for the main course and the crowd got duly excited leading up to the nine o’clock appearance.
Four or five very welcome songs (Readers and Writers, You Held The World In Your Arms, Everyone Says You’re So Fragile, When I Argue I See Shapes, Make Another World – thanks t John McGeachy for the FB notes on this) served as a warm up for the run-through of 100 Broken Windows. It really is remarkable how this album has established itself as such a key album for me over the last years, not a bad song on it and several iconic ones – Roseability, Idea Song, A Little Discourage, These Wooden Ideas …..still sounding as strong and fresh as they did ten years ago. The lyrics to Let Me Sleep: ‘I’m sure that you’ll be fine,Ten more years of this, It will nearly be time, I’m sure that you’ll be fine, It can’t take ten more years’, sounding strangely prescient somehow, given the rumours that, if not the last ever dates, these few will be followed by significant period of break.
For the encore they returned for a few more firm favourites (but I may have missed a couple here) – City Hall, A Modern Way of Letting Go, Meet Me at the Harbour, American English, Captain, and ending with the stately The Remote Part
All too soon it was over , they were gone and we were back out into the chill December night, leaving a floor awash with tasteless lager and plastic glasses. But what music! Music that swells your heart, lifts your spirit, music of a thousand memories and emotions and a night to join, in turn, with those memories – IDS would have loved it. Let’s hope that they do return with fresh material to add to their substantial cannon and let us enjoy them anew