Idlewild (4 stars)


A Distant History (Parlophone)


Ask anyone who’s ever poured over Cure outtakes or Pulp B-sides. When you get to know a band’s back catalogue intimately, after time it’s the bits in between that hold the greatest fascination. After ten years of cutting out their own distinct shapes from indie rock’s rug of many colours, they follow a greatest hits package with this download-only clutch of rarities, oddities and B-sides, a description which does this collection a disservice. ‘Self Healer’ is a decade old but shows a kernel of the band’s magic in succinct, distinct style, while an acoustic rendering of ‘El Capitan’ injects a winsome melancholy into a sunny pop song. ‘Don’t Let Me Change’ captures one of Roddy Woomble’s most fevered vocal performances and ‘I Was Made to Think’ is as great a song as they’ve ever written. An album of hidden treasures.

Available from iTunes.

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