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To coincide with the 10th anniversary re-release of 100 Broken Windows, Idlewild decided to treat their fans to a live show featuring the whole album (not including the demos and b-sides on the re-issue). If there ever was a reason to brave the megabus to London for the night then this was it. If re-listening to this album on CD gave you a warm sense of nostaligia about your angsty teenage years then hearing it performed live by a kinetic Roddy Woomble and pals went one step beyond and transported you right back to those days. Since they formed in the mid 1990s, Idlewild have pumped out a new album every couple of years but none has come as close to perfection as 100 Broken Windows. It’s one of those albums you could kind of forget about for a couple of years but one which once you re-listen it completely blows you away – a mixture of raw guitars, soaring riffs, intelligent lyrics and beautiful ballads. And that’s exactly what this gig was. Iconic tunes such as Roseability and Little Discourage had everyone singing along while the heavier material such as Listen To What You’ve Got and Captain (off their first EP) saw an inevitable mosh pit full of sweaty 20 somethings and the odd crowdsurfer. But it was the wonderfully moving love songs, Let Me Sleep (Next To The Mirror) and Bronze medal which really showcased Idlewild’s talent and maturity. It wasn’t just 100 Broken Windows they did but some of the awesome tunes off the rest of their back catalogue, including When I Argue I See Shapes (from debut album Hope Is Important) and A Modern Way Of Letting Go (from The Remote Part). In recent years Roddy has been exploring his folkier side with solo projects and a collaboration with fellow Celts John McCusker and Kris Drever but judging by the reception Idlewild got at this gig and Woomble’s beaming smile we’ve not seen the last of Idlewild, whose late 90s albums have an undeniable relevance more than a decade after their invention. I only wish that more contemporary bands rocked the timeless Idlewild sound.

Words: Laura Williams
Photo: By Mriain via Wikipedia