Review: Idlewild – The Junction, October 29

IDLEWILD are just emerging from one of the most artistically turbulent times of their career. In recent years, there seemed a conflict between lead singer Roddy Woomble s increasing interest in folk music and other band members love of more alternative,

IDLEWILD are just emerging from one of the most artistically turbulent times of their career. In recent years, there seemed a conflict between lead singer Roddy Woomble's increasing interest in folk music and other band members' love of more alternative, louder, punkier music.

After a short period of each style taming the other - the two styles now seem to be flourishing apart. Woomble recently created a highly-praised album of folk rock and Idlewild have returned to making melodic alternative rock that has its bite back.

There were times, particularly at the start of the show, that Woomble seemed too distant from the jagged hooks and fast pace of the music around him. After a few songs he managed to find an intensity of delivery that had a certain restraint, but fitted well. I would like to see him return to a more chaotic delivery - especially live, but the rest of the band provide a more animated and unrestrained show.

The three guitarists stride around the stage flaying their guitars around as if thwarting a relentless attack of invisible zombies. At the end of each track they pause briefly, victoriously, before defending themselves from a fresh wave of attackers.


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In contrast to the evolving sounds and influences of the band on record - the sound from the stage is timeless. The old tracks sound fresh and full of life - while newer tracks have their sheen scratched away. Their musical history is smashed together in a mess of feedback and ragged guitar-playing just for that night.

CHRIS BOLAND

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