Idlewild @ Liverpool Masque – Live Review

Posted on 12 March 2010
By Will Weir
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Following the recent release of Post Electric Blues, Idlewild are hitting the road once more and tonight sees them take the stage in Liverpool’s Masque venue.

Since forming in december 1995 Idlewild have fluxed in and out of the lime-light and they have done so with integrity, wordsmithery and a refreshing lack of incident or ego fuelled idiocy.

The tone of the evening is set by support group Sparrow and the Workshop; a Scottish/Welsh/American 3-piece from Glasgow, performing an enchanting cocktail of both traditionally ethereal and modern folk, with a subtly menacing rock-like attitude and in some tracks, a style that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino film.

Sparrow and the Workshops music is a modern kind of folk that commands you to listen … and then informs you that it didn’t mean to shout at you. Between this and the gentle nature of the group, they draw you in and provide a very warming set.

Idlewild take to the stage with a quick “Hello, how’s it going?” Then burst into a trio of tracks from the 100 Broken Windows era “Listen to What You’ve Got, Roseability and Actually It’s Darkness. Initially it seems like the band may have calmed down a little too much over the years; with a competent, but un-edgy start.

However, it appears that this is all a part of the plan. The set continues to reveal an array of tracks old and new, following an altering tempo throughout the set with the intelligence of a carefully constructed mix-tape.

It’s a flight of nostalgia as Idlewild crank out such classics ad You Held The World In Your Arms from 2002’s Remote Part.

Yet this isn’t just one of those let’s hear what we used to sound like gigs; as recent releases like City Hall and Younger Than America from 2009’s Post Electric Blues measure up easily and maintain the audience’s attention.

Sporting an understated and casual look, Idlewild draws the crowd in with a mellow and yet catchy underlying exuberance. The stepped room at the Masque complements this, encouraging the intimate and exclusive vibe of the evening.

Following a brief interlude and a return to applause, a jovial Roddy Woomble exclaims “Thankyou, that was a lovely stand in the corridor.” before breaking into the frantic opener of 2000’s 100 Broken Windows: Little Discourage. With a further 3 songs, the crowd is left with their audio appetites fully satisfied.

There’s still plenty of chances to catch Idlewild on the current tour – for details check the band’s myspace

Photos: Conor McDonnell