Rod Jones and The Birthday Suit
When Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones was piecing together his debut solo album A Sentimental Education, there was one simple test to decide which songs to use himself and which ones to pass on to Roddy Woomble and co: did they feel so personal that only Jones could see himself performing them? ‘Songwriting can be a form of therapy,’ he says. ‘It’s a good way to get thoughts and feelings out rather than letting them run around your brain’.
He also notes that Idlewild work as a collaborative entity, and that none of their songs are composed by just one person. ‘This album only started out as a hobby initially,’ he says. ‘I recorded the songs on my own and worked on them for about a year, until it got to the point that I thought what I was doing was actually OK. Then I took it to Dave Eringa (sometime Idlewild and Manic Street Preachers producer) to get it mixed.’
This show will be the official launch of the album, although there will be a pre-order period for a couple of months before it’s physically released.
As a band, Idlewild are never far from their next gig, but there has been more time of late for each member to work on their own projects, particularly as Woomble has been focusing on his folk trio with Kris Drever and John McCusker. Jones believes the aim is to start on a new album after their spring tour, and doesn’t envisage this band taking precedence over his old one: ‘The Birthday Suit is a joke name, really – it’s only me, and whoever’s available to play at the time.’
Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Jan.