Idlewild are a band that has to be seen live in order to realise just how good they are. The Scala in London’s Kings Cross played host to the Scottish heroes last date of a sold-out mini tour that saw them play a number of dates teasing loyal fans with snippets from their upcoming new album Make Another World, due for release early next year – and they weren’t disappointed.
Playing what can be essentially described as a mostly ‘greatest hits’ set, frontman Roddy Woomble and co took to the stage to a rapturous response and displayed a textbook example of how to play a rock show. Kicking off with classics Roseability and When I Argue I See Shapes the noticeably more mature crowd roared with approval, carrying on the cheers through the first new track of the evening, single If It Takes You Home. The amalgamation of tracks old and new continued throughout the set, with new numbers including No Emotion and The Ghost In The Arcade sandwiched between more crowd pleasers including A Modern Way Of Letting Go, American English and Love Steals Us From Loneliness.
Throughout their hour and a half long set Idlewild proved why they are one of the best live acts in the UK. New bass player Gareth Russell looked comfortable in his new role, filling Gavin Fox’s shoes with ease. Roddy Woomble’s distinctive vocals shone, sounding just as good live as it does recorded, although a few of the higher notes on older tracks were understandably omitted. The set also included the track Satan Polaroid, taken from their 1998 EP Captain, dedicating it to the fans that had followed them from the very beginning – which by the sound of the cheer from the crowd seemed to be three quarters of the venue!
Ending the night with The Bronze Medal, Idlewild rounded off their mini tour with one of the best performances I have seen all year. ‘See you in March’, said Roddy as the set wound down. I have a feeling I won’t be the only person in the crowd who will be buying tickets to the next show!
Photos from www.idlewild.co.uk