It’s been a while since I last saw Idlewild take to the stage, in fact, perhaps, twelve years ago, at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall when touring with Warnings/Promises, and the set list was actually not too dissimilar. Playing this time at Hidden Door Festival, whereby the dedicated team had this time revived Leith Theatre, just off Ferry Road, Idlewild were at the end of an intriguing and artistic bill that had made use of this exciting space.
With artwork where you would expect toilets to be, an oft confusing space, where you end up at an overpowering mirrored space, rather than the stairs to the balcony, Leith Theatre’s recent incarnation is a labyrinth of installations and art to attract the trend-setting crowd. And if that does not do it then their bill of music is bound to. With Manuela (Lost Map Records and Sausage Productions), which comprises of vocalist and songwriter, Manuela Gernedel and her husband and Franz Ferdinand’s guitarist, Nick McCarthy, and Idlewild set to get some indie juices flowing, it was of no surprise to see the venue awash with hip artists.
Manuela took to the stage with Jim Dixon from Django Django to play tracks such as Cracks in the Concrete and Supermarket, impressing the capital city with its vastly new DIY pop offerings albeit playing as husband and wife since the 90s when still living in Bavaria. Fresh, tirelessly fun with an appealing hook, they are set to be a success as a recent addition to the Lost Map Records roster. Playfully lyrical and stripped down approach means that Manuela’s vocals lead, followed by McCarthy’s pleasing guitar work.
However beguiling Manuela were, Idlewild were the band that took that stage and really made it there’s. Playing apparently their only 2017 gig, Roddy Woomble, as charismatic as he ever was, took to the stage, to not only remind the audience of his age, as he struggled to keep the pace that he at one point in life had little problem with, but also to remind them of theirs as they sang along to old classics that have come out of this city.
Having formed in Edinburgh in 1995, they are by no means a youthful band with seven albums under their belt but reminded us all of our age with a set list that included Roseability and Little Discourage. Holding the stage with new members Andrew Mitchell (on guitar, bass and keyboard, also known as Andrew Wasylyk) and Luciano Rossi, despite not being as able as they were in their youth, there is no shortage of allure on stage and the fans quite drunkenly sing along to these timeless classics.
Photos courtesy of Chris Scott.
For more on Hidden Door Festival, which runs until 4th June click here.