IDLEWILD have announced an Academy date on their forthcoming tour on Thursday 29 April. Tickets are on sale this Wednesday, 10 February priced €18 inclusive of booking fee.
Idlewild released their seventh studio album towards the end of last year. ‘Post-Electric Blues’ is an indie-rock album of Boss-like bombast, flecked with 70s synths and dashes of brass. It’s an album that leaps from Fleetwood Mac epic folk/rock/pop peaks into joyous Loch-side sing-a-longs. It’s the sound of a deft and defiant band(completed by Rod Jones on guitar, backing vocals, keyboards; Colin Newton on drums, percussion; Allan Stewart on guitar and Gareth Russell on bass), exploring soundscapes whilst finding hooks and generally, genuinely and quite clearly, having a good time.
Lyrically, the punk-rock sloganeering of their earlier work has become a mixture of poignant observational small-world imagery and universal ponder-neering. This isn’t all textural wilderness-gazing or woe is me Morrissey-like rambling. Written in Scotland and recorded in Wales (and Scotland), Post-Electric Blues is an album made to play live, as Roddy explains: “Most bands now make their living through concerts, and we’re no exception, so records have to be tailored that way. With ‘The Remote Part and ‘Warnings…’ we were writing songs that would sound good on the radio (and live, but the radio was more important – so we were told).
While the era of Brit-pop was still in full-swing, Idlewild were dropping out of art school and ingesting Fugazi, Superchunk “…and all those small bands on American indie-rock labels.” A few gigs, a few seven inch singles and then in 1998 they released their ‘Captain’ mini album via Steve to Lamacq’s Deceptive label (at the time home to Elastica) before signing to Food Records (then home to Blur). Then, when every new British band from Coldplay to Badly Drawn Boy trotted around with an acoustic guitar, they delivered their debut full-length of erratic punk rock, ‘Hope Is Important’.
Yet, just when it seemed like their time to crossover, the yanks with their bloated Nu Metal and skinny-jeaned New York cool hijacked the agenda and Idlewild were lost at sea making melodic rock with Scottish accents. Then, when rock-with-regional accents (Arctic Monkeys, Lily, Nash, et al.) was all the rage, their front-man moved to New York and took time out to make traditional folk albums (‘My Secret Is My Silence’, ‘Ballad of the Books’ and ‘Before the Ruin’) – which maybe is but probably isn’t quite as Great Jones Street as it sounds.
Idlewild play The Academy, Dublin on Thursday 29 April. Tickets are on sale this Wednesday priced €18 inclusive of booking fee from Ticketmaster outlets.