Idlewild in concert 18th April Portsmouth UK

By day the Pyramid Centre in Portsmouth is a leisure centre with a twisty waterslide, by night it is a venue hall which tonight is heaving with Idlewild fans.

Idlewild have not toured much in the UK since their last album 100 Broken Windows was released over a year ago.

Now on the verge of launching their third major studio album, Idlewild have developed a significant fan base and have attracted much written acclaim.

Tonight there are two support bands, I didn’t get there early enough to find out the name of the first band but I did catch the dying moments of their last track, a Limp Bizkit style noise bawl which sounded crap and must have given the ‘singer’ laryngitis. But then I missed most of their set so maybe they are musical geniuses...?

Next up were Ikara Colt, they were a four-piece guitar band. The drummer looked like Jeremy Clarkson and the bassist had to posture and demeanour of Murdoc from the Gorillaz. The singer looked like he had been studying at 'The Strokes' school of fashion, but had failed his end of year exams.

They played a couple of songs that sounded like 'The Hives' which is no bad thing and then they played a couple of other songs that passed me by. They were pretty good, the sound system didn’t do them any favours and the singer seemed a bit of a twat, by that aside I recon they might do okay in Japan.

Okay back to the bar…la la la stand around some more…

Idlewild arrived on stage in front of projections of Scottish pine forests and the slogan “support your local poet”. The bassist has grown a groovy beard since last I saw them.

The singer Roddy Womble staggered on stage in jeans a white v-neck t-shirt and a short black PVC jacket he is clearly out of his head, rock and roll man!!

They kick off with an old track 'Captain' moving onto ‘I am the message’, 'When I Argue I See Shapes', 'Little Discourage', 'These Wooden Ideas' and 'Roseability'. The new material they play seems not to be too different from Broken Windows, choosing to keep their energetic punk in their back pocket for now.

The guy next to me was screaming for 'Last Night I Missed All The Fireworks' but he didn't get his way, the band play a mix of old tracks an a hefty slice of the new material that sounds great, particularly latest single 'YOU HELD THE WORLD IN YOUR ARMS' which has a great chorus and guitar riff, it's so great I'm am going to have to buy it tomorrow - ha!

Roddy staggered around the stage knocking the mic stand over, guitarist Rod Jones, who toured with Graham Coxon’s solo band summer 2001, bashed out the tunes and hollers backing vocals.

He doesn’t say much and I can't make out what he says when he does speak but Roddy is a class front man, sneering his way through the evening.

Tonight the band lack the energy that I have seen them produce live before which is kind of weird since this is the first night of the tour, but they do show off the new songs with style and they continue to be one of the most interesting UK bands about at the moment – Support your local poet – indeed.

Jamie O'Connell

Check out their website HERE where you can read Roddy's Diary and listen to the latest single.

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