Roddy Woomble reveals his fascination with the village people. The people of the village of London that is.
I’ve just been spending some time down in London finishing off a new Idlewild record, which has been, by all accounts, a successful foray back into the world of rock music. I used to live in London, but I hadn’t spent any proper time there really until recently. When I moved down there, I remember someone telling me to imagine it as a series of villages all squashed together, which at the time I thought was a strange thing to say. Now, I agree; it’s a city with no real centre. Instead it has about 40 different centres. This time we were staying in East London with its well designed graffiti, boutiques and bars, and old east end granddads shaking their heads at the passing fashionistas. It’s quite a fun mix, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s still a hard part of town. I saw a fight between two women at ten in the morning while I was waiting for the bus, and almost got hit myself, for the sin of smiling, the day after. It’s a pretty strange world when a smile becomes a bone of contention.
The studio we were working in came complete with it’s own bar, which is dangerous, and expensive. I’m not much of a beer drinker by trade, but I’ve discovered a new found love for very strong Belgian bottled ale brewed by Monks. I was having some strange visions walking back up Kingsland road at night I can tell you. Monks live a weird life, frugally worshipping by day, and by night brewing potent liquid designed to seriously alter those who drink it. The hangover makes you want to be frugal and worship. Maybe that’s the grand plan of Brothers Mark and Simon.
The next thing on the cards is a trip up to Iceland, which will be lovely. We’re going whale watching, which is exciting. I’ve done it once before and it’s quite a sight to behold. Whales are like the sea come to life, the perfect mix of the physical and spiritual power of nature. That said, the last time, out on the Pacific, the sea was so choppy that I spent a good bit of time avoiding the vomit that was blowing around on deck.
On a closing note, I read recently that a man suffering from manic depression was convinced that seagulls were the reincarnation of dead sailors come back to suffer. Now there’s a thought.
Roddy Woomble’s solo album My Silence is My Secret is out on now Pure Records.