After calling an indefinite hiatus in 2010, Idlewild remerged last month with their first album in five years, ‘Everything Ever Written’, a collection of songs they’ve recorded in the last couple of years, on both sides of the Atlantic. The recording process saw two new members, Luciano Rossi and Andrew Mitchell (not the ‘Plebgate’ one), complement the three original founding fathers of singer Roddy Woomble, guitarist Rod Jones and drummer Colin Newton. As a result, Idlewild’s new material sounds more complete than previous offerings.
During their sabbatical, the original trio ploughed separate paths, with Woomble and Jones both releasing solo output that was heavily influenced by folk music. A dissatisfaction with what Jones believed to be ‘a saturated market for folk music’ led him to form a band ‘The Birthday Suit’, who produced a pair of albums before Idlewild reconvened. Woomble himself had used the break to work in a collective as well as on his own. Ultimately, given the hiatus was called amid no acrimony, it wasn’t a tough decision for the band to reconvene, and they believed that their hardcore fanbase still had an appetite for new Idlewild songs.
The band embarked on a jaunt around the Scottish Highlands roadtesting new material alongside a vast and rich back catalogue. However, this month sees the band’s first ‘full’ UK tour for with stops at Glasgow (twice), Birmingham (a review coming up soon), Manchester, London, Belfast and Dublin.
In an age of banality, dumbing down, instant gratification, there’s something pleasing about the return of a band who have always brought a literate profundity to our ears, an intellectual depth missing from much of today’s offerings.