Butefest 2016: Introducing ... Idlewild

Lead singer Roddy Woomble of Idlewild on stage at the Queen's Hall.
Lead singer Roddy Woomble of Idlewild on stage at the Queen's Hall.

You surely cannot ask for anyone better to headline the closing night of your festival than Idlewild.

One of Scotland’s most acclaimed indie rock bands who forged a reputation on their high energy live shows, and then embraced a glorious folkie edge on a musical journey which spans a decade - a timespan in which they’ve matured, taken a hiatus, and returned with a stunning album which wowed critics and fans alike.

Led by Roddy Woomble, Idlewild have released eight albums and three compilations, enjoyed a dozen top 40 singles, toured pretty much everywhere and with everyone - sharing stages with bands as huge, and diverse as Pearl Jam, U2 and REM.

Idlewild emerged from Edinburgh’s live music scene in the late 1990s, and their debut single ‘Queen Of The Troubled Teen’ caught the attention of several prominent DJs, including Steve Lamacq who was present as they made their live debut in London.

Those raucous performances were key to building a fan base - they were famously described as ‘like’’the sound of a flight of stairs falling down a flight of stairs.’’

And yet that’s as remote as possible from the haunting sound they embraced in later years they embraced folk music, and produced some quite wonderful songs.

Idlewild, standing in the curve of a tenement stair, looking up at the camera.

Idlewild, standing in the curve of a tenement stair, looking up at the camera.

Woomble - a respected writer and columnist - also forged a friendship with Scots Machar, the late Edwin Morgan, went on to appear at book festivals. and collaborate with poets

Creative, talented, and influential - Twlight Sad and Frightened Rabbit are two bands which would acknowledge the influence of Idlewild - the band are busy with a tour to promote their 2015 album ‘Everything Ever written.’- their first since 2009.

That’s a mighty hiatus, but time has mellowed and matured their sound, and they sound better than ever.

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