REVIEW: Idlewild @ Riverside (10.12.15) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Graeme J. Baty

There are few bands around that are capable of supporting themselves, but Idlewild did just that tonight, with an acoustic set pre-empting an eclectic full electric one.

Don’t expect Roddy Woomble to be sat down just because the guitars are unplugged, though. He still wanders the stage, his hair newly shorn, reinventing the likes of These Wooden Ideas complete with violin, highlighting the strength of the songs in a stripped down environment.  Idlewild have always been an uncompromising band and it would be against their nature to merely play the ‘hits’ tonight, airing half the songs from divisive new folk-rock album, Everything Ever Written.

Whether the new songs stand up to those tracks of old is debatable, but the Beatles-esque jam of Come On Ghost is nicely sandwiched by the pop sensibilities of Love Steals Us From Loneliness and the shuddering Live In A Hiding Place.  Teasing the hardcore fanbase with the likes of Little Discourage, it’s not until the unbridled energy of Roseability that the band really let fly, with a barrage of tracks like the monumental mountainous peak of El Capitan and the snotty shout-a-long that is When I Argue I See Shapes.  The epic You Held The World In Your Arms brings the night to a close, proving that twenty years in, Idlewild still have it in their grasp too.

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