Idlewild @ Birmingham Glee Club – 2nd July 2008


The Glee Club seems a strangely small venue for Idlewild to play, having previously opened for U2 and REM at stadium shows and headlined The Academy. This is no disappointment, however, as tonight they give fans the opportunity to experience them live in an intimate venue as they showcase some of their lesser known material.


There is no support band; Idlewild are happy to fill the entire evening themselves, starting off with an acoustic set. It feels almost like sitting in on a rehearsal, the relaxed and informal atmosphere giving stripped down versions of ‘American English’ and ‘El Capitan’ a completely different sound. Singer, Roddy Woomble’s voice sounds amazing, never missing a note and hitting perfect harmonies with guitarist, Rod Jones.


Unfortunately, the show was not advertised as a B-sides evening so anyone hoping to hear their hits may be disappointed, however for dedicated fans who have seen the band numerous times, hearing something different is a rare treat. The band leave the stage for a break before the show resumes with a collection of B-sides and less commonly played album tracks, going right back to the early days of their career.


Whereas the unplugged set showed an even more mellow side to Idlewild than usual, the second half sees a heavier, rockier version of the Scottish 5 piece. The use of a museum style rope instead of a barrier in front of the crowd highlights the type of gig this was expected to be, however during many of the songs there are plenty of fans rocking out, jumping around and getting into it just as much as the band. Their older material, such as final song ‘A Film For The Future’ sounds a great deal more raw than the sweeping melodies of their more recent songs, allowing the band to really let go and enjoy themselves.


The fact that Idlewild chose not to play a larger venue to draw a bigger crowd, and that they stuck to more obscure songs rather than just playing the same, predictable set shows they are not just interested in the money. They really want to give something back to the fans who have helped them get to where they are today, and succeeded in guaranteeing a good time for everyone involved.


Set List:

Acoustic Set –
No Emotion
I’m Happy To Be Here Tonight
You & I Are Both Away
Not Just Sometimes But Always
El Capitan
American English

Second Half —
Paint Nothing
Annihilate Now!
A Modern Way Of Letting Go
No Generation
A Distant History
Love Steals Us From Loneliness
Out Of Routine
Meet Me At The Harbour
There’s Glory In Your Story
Century After Century
I Was Made To Think It
Gone Too Long
Little Discourage

Encore –
Last Night I Missed All The Fireworks
A Film For The Future

Review – Helen Catchpowle
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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2 thoughts on “Idlewild @ Birmingham Glee Club – 2nd July 2008

  1. I went to the gig (and was on the front row obviously lol) and your review and pictures (which are amazing) just sum up the evening perfectly.
    I knew it was a B-Sides and rarities gig therefore I was in heaven to hear classic Idlewild songs that I have never heard before. I just LOVE this band (and your review)

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