Idlewild - King Tut's, Glasgow, Wed 17th December 2008 (4 stars)

Idlewild - King Tut's, Glasgow, Wed 17th December 2008

‘I think I just came in my pants!’, bellowed one excitable sort during a lull, and Roddy Woomble treated his well-intentioned contribution with the amused wince it deserved. The band, and particularly the lanky Woomble, are much too polite to get caught up in such banter, but they also seemed to recognise and appreciate the wealth of affection for them in the room. This full recital of their first album proper, 1998’s Hope Is Important, was the first of five such nights in which they’ll play their entire back catalogue.

It’s so much more than that, though. After a few introductory tracks, the full album was played, yet the short, sharp, serrated nature of many of its songs (these were Idlewild’s early days, remember, when they were like a library assistant version of Biffy Clyro) meant that only a little over an hour of the projected two-hour running time had passed. Yet we had already enjoyed the singles Film for the Future, When I Argue I See Shapes and I’m a Message, and many satisfying album tracks of the era, like Low Light and ‘Idlewild’s first ever ballad’ I’m Happy to Be Here Tonight.

‘We want you to get your money’s worth’, said Woomble, seemingly displeased with the brevity of the set, although 16 songs had passed by this point. ‘Unless you bought your tickets on eBay. Then you’ll never get your money’s worth.’ Online bartering for these tickets doesn’t seem so unrealistic; all five of these shows are sold out, and demonstrate the depths of affection which still exist for this group.

So an odd and somewhat momentum-halting 15-minute break was followed by another round-up of non era-specific songs, including Roseability, You Held the World in Your Arms and Live in a Hiding Place, and then a requests session which threw up A Song is a Beautiful Lie and I Want to be a Writer, amongst others. Value for money, in other words, was thoroughly achieved.

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