ThomasOShea's current selection is:
Dream Variations
by Idlewild
The 'Wild Bunch

Idlewild at Grand Central Hall, Liverpool | Friday 19 April 2019

Following the release of their eighth studio record Interview Music a fortnight ago, Idlewild began their UK tour yesterday evening with a first visit to Liverpool in almost a decade (though they did go on a few years' hiatus inbetween).

As with the new LP, this selection opened what turned out to be an extremely energetic 90-odd minute set, which saw both the tempo and volume barely drop throughout as six of the new album's tracks were seamlessly slotted into place amid the back catalogue items.

The latter leaned heavily on their biggest commercial success [The Remote Part] from 2002, but did draw upon almost all of their lengthy career, everything being lapped up ecstatically by a partisan Good Friday crowd, whose considerable enthusiasm throughout more than made up for the relative lack of numbers (probably only slightly fewer than at The Good, The Bad & The Queen on Thursday, but contained within a much more compact, amphitheatre-style room).

That intimacy unquestionably helped create and sustain the atmosphere as much as the songs that were chosen to be aired.

Whether it was down to the lack of space up there is perhaps a moot point, but it was noticeable that when not singing, Roddy Woomble would stand aside almost out of view at the extreme left of the stage, almost as if he was wanting to watch and enjoy the performances of his bandmates and allow them their own time in the spotlight.

A clearly adrenaline-fuelled first night somehow still managed to increase its intensity in the run-in to the end of the main set, with both 'When I Argue I See Shapes' and the closing 'A Modern Way Of Letting Go' sparking some frenzied frugging on the floor, which literally made it shake underneath my feet.

The structural integrity of the 114-year-old building was tested for a final time during the encore with a breakneck rendition of 'Everyone Says You're So Fragile' from the début LP Hope Is Important, before the show was brought to a relatively calmer conclusion with the almost title track of its parent album, 'In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction', though even that ended with some good old fashioned lean-the-guitar-against-the-amp-and-walk-offstage feedback.

An excellent show all told from a band who have always appeared more critically than publically admired and with perhaps their best (hey)days behind them, but with still something to prove, still something to offer and still retaining enough of a cult following to keep them self-sustained for a while yet. Even if they occasionally still do the 'Same Things Twice' -


2019 - Empty Words - United Kingdom
Posted: 20th April 2019
Thomas O'Shea
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