Idlewild / C Duncan – Summer Nights @ The Kelvingrove Bandstand – Friday 5th August, 2016
Perhaps the real story of Friday night’s show, the umpteenth time that I’ve seen Idlewild, was the Dancing Resistance.
If you’ve never been there before the Kelvingrove Bandstand has rows of concrete seats which are quite handy on a dry night whilst you’re waiting for the acts. Unfortunately the seats are actually quite low (probably designed for 19th century sized legs) and by the time C Duncan opened the show I was quite keen to stand up. It was after all a rock gig.
Yet I was wrong – everyone remained seated for the duration of the support presumably because most folk were there for the headliners.
Yet even when Idlewild hit the stage with ‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’ the vast body of the kirk still remained with their backsides planted firmly on the concrete – other than a hardy band of fans far to the left of the stage.
Initially it looked as if their resistance might gain some support through an early run of hits (see below) but just as it seemed a tipping point was about to be reached ‘Come On Ghost’ seemed to send most folk back to their seats. At which point my knees were really starting to complain!
Revolution starts to break out …
Then eight songs in Roddy half invited folk to stand and at last a lot tentatively starte to take up that invitation. Until he made it clear that he wasn’t commanding anyone to do anything and just about everyone sat down again!
But only for a few seconds. Colin battered the opening drums to ‘Roseability’, Rod fired off the because the opening chords and finally, immediately, everyone was on their feet with some racing to the barrier at the front.
There’s absolutely no doubt that from then on it helped the atmosphere (and my knees). Idlewild were every bit as good as on the previous reunion shows that we’ve seen them at in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth. And listening to the likes of ‘American English’ (not necessarily my favourite Idlewild song), ‘El Capitan’ and final tune ‘A Modern Way of Letting Go’ it’s really something of a mystery why they didn’t go on and win a huge audience.
Content wise there was only a marginal difference in the setlist from last year’s shows. ‘Readers and Writers’ was the only (unexpected but welcome) addition but a little more variety was offered by a slow version of ‘These Wooden Ideas’ and a folky interlude during ‘Scottish Fiction’ which owed a lot to these songs’ soujourn in the acoustic set at the end of last year.
But probably the highlight of the night for me was the unique (and probably never to be repeated!) father/son bonding which involved bouncing around to the triple oldies run of ‘A Film for the Future’, ‘Captain’ and ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’. Unique because I wouldn’t want to embarrass the young man again!
Other than a show in Dunbar in September, this was the last show in the ‘Everything Ever Written’ cycle so it may be a wee while before Idlewild grace a Scottish stage again. But when they do return I suspect we’ll be there again.
I suspect that we’ll be seeing rather more of C Duncan in the coming months with his second LP scheduled for an October release. Being honest I quite like him but I’m not fanatical whereas MPK2 is definitely a fan.
Despite the imminence of the new album, the set mainly drew on ‘Architect’ with only a couple of new tunes thrown in during the second half of the show.
It’s all nice enough but I can’t say that the show changed my opinion.
Having said that it’s quite possible I’ll be seeing him again in the near future if there’s a show which has a 16/17 year old friendly age limit to promote the new record.
But all things considered it was a tremendous evening.
1. Love Steals Us From Loneliness 2. Collect Yourself 3. You Held The World In Your Arms 4. Little Discourage 5. Come On Ghost 6. Live In A Hiding Place 7. Make Another World 8. Readers & Writers 9. Roseability 10. Use It (If You Can Use It) 11. American English 12. I Understand It 13. These Wooden Ideas 14. El Capitan 15. Left Like Roses 16. Idea Track 17. A Film for the Future 18. Captain 19. When I Argue I See Shapes 20. In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction
21. Too Long Awake 22. A Modern Way of Letting Go