Dispatch - Roddy Woomble

Roddy Woomble ponders the big birthday question: are you really only as old as the taxidermed animal you feel?

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I never really ever expect anything for my birthday, which is why in recent years I’ve been unexpectedly surprised and delighted by the way things have turned out. This year I spent it on a beach in Iona, eating banana and pineapple birthday cake, then sinking back some Caol Ila whisky in possibly my favourite bar in Scotland, the Martyrs Bay pub and restaurant. It’s become quite a cliché, all this 30 is the new 20 talk (that would make 20 the new ten). I suspect a lot of it came from people who worry about getting older. But I don’t, and without wishing to sound arrogant, I prefer myself more with every year added. There’s not a lot you can do about it anyway, really.

This year my parents gave me the present of a digital radio, which is a revelation, so I’m getting happily older listening to static-free Radio 4. I also received quite a few stuffed animals. I’m considering becoming a collector.

I made my first trip to Cambeltown and the Mull of Kintyre at the weekend, playing the first proper ‘rock’ show of the year with Idlewild. It’s quite a boisterous town, full of drink, old fashioned sweetshops and groups of men shouting. Still, a good time was in effect (I hope) and I was loudly reminded of the joys and difficulties of singing along with electric guitars as loud as jet engines.

Spending the first half of this year ensconced in folk music, it was a baptism of plastic pint glasses thrown in the air all over again. Long may it continue.

Roddy Woomble’s debut solo album My Secret is My Silence is out now on Pure Records. A new Idlewild album is due in 2007.

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