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Idlewild – Perth Concert Hall – Tuesday 24th November 2015

Last week saw us catch Idlewild live for the third time this year for MPK2’s birthday treat and it’s fair to say that the shows this year just seem to get better each time.

This was a notable show for two reasons – firstly the band supported themselves in an acoustic (as they did once for a Xmas show at the Barras) but perhaps more importantly because it featured one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard at a rock gig.

In part that may have been down to the setting (the clue may be in the concert hall bit of the venue’s title) but a large amount of the credit surely has to go to the sound engineer who allowed absolutely everything a place in the mix without sacrificing anything of the excitement of Idlewild as a live band.

I didn’t feel that the opening acoustic set fully grabbed my attention. There were a couple of notable free transfers over from the electric sets earlier in the year, including one which I always prefer in a non-stadium incarnation (‘American English’ ) but for my money ‘Scottish Fiction’ remains far better suited to an electric setting.

idlewild-a1Much more successful was off kilter inclusion‘These Wooden Ideas’ which worked surprisingly well whilst it was nice to hear ‘Post Electric Blues’ was represented by ‘Younger Than America’.

But the acoustic set did whet the appetite for the main event and what a main event. I’ve talked already this year about the quality of the songs on offer and that was never truer than in Perth.

The best bits? Well, the usual really. ‘Roseability’ has never sounded better – the current version is absolutely stunning – a true joy to behold. If anything the double whammy of ‘A Film for the Future’ and ‘Captain’ actually benefited from the clarity of the sound as did the rearranged ‘When I Argue …’. And the band got a serious groove going on newer tunes such as ‘Come On Ghost’ and ‘Use It’ .

In truth the only disappointment was that the set hadn’t changed a bit more from the gigs earlier in the year. There was only one curveball thrown in– a dramatically (and successfully) rearranged ‘Idea Track’, explained by Roddy afterwards because he can’t do the screaming any more.

But there’s a decent segment of their back catalogue still waiting to be mined in the comeback – and MPK2 simply can’t believe that they didn’t play ‘On Another Planet’ – even for his birthday!

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This man did a VERY fine job!

Idlewild played:

Acoustic set:

1. Nothing I Can Do About It 2. Younger Than America 3. American English 4. All Things Different 5. These Wooden Ideas 6. The Bronze Medal 7. In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction

Electric set:

1. Too Long Awake 2. Collect Yourself 3. Little Discourage 4. Left Like Roses 5. You Held The World In Your Arms 6. Come on Ghost 7. Love Steals Us From Loneliness 8. Idea Track 9. Roseability 10. Make Another World 11. When I Argue I See Shapes 12. Use It (If You Don’t Use It) 13. Live In A Hiding Place 14. A Film for the Future 15. Captain 16. El Capitan 17. Utopia

Encore

18. I Understand It 19. A Modern Way of Letting Go

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