For those of you who have not heard of him, Roddy Woomble is the lead singer for Idlewild which I featured in my underrated bands article. He is also an accomplished folk singer/songwriter in his own right having released three solo albums and is currently touring his latest release The Impossible Song & Other Songs.
I went to see him at The Haunt in Brighton for the first time having only recently investigated his music. The line-up consisted of Roddy on acoustic guitar, along with acoustic guitarist Sorren Maclean, violinist Seonaid Aitken and former Idlewild bassist Gavin Fox.
It was a smoothly understated affair and all the more enjoyable because of that. Roddy’s voice mixed beautifully with Seonaid’s haunting backing vocals and the play off between the band was well rehearsed and musically competent. Roddy cut a humble persona on stage, sitting off to the side and thanking the crowd after every song for their “lovely applause”. It was refreshing to see a lead man taking a back seat to the rest of the band and letting the music do the talking.
A particular highlight was their rendition of Work Like You Can, a call to people to work together and find their purpose in life to toil towards a common aim. They also covered the Idlewild track You Held The World In Your Arms from the album The Remote Part in the encore with Seonaid’s violin playing the main guitar hook. The whole track was slowed down and translated well into a folk rendition. Most of the crowd were singing along as, unsurprisingly, most of them are also Idlewild fans.
It was a relaxed and intimate gig and my only complaint is that it was a little short; it lasted for around an hour which at £14 was a bit of a gyp. Despite that I enjoyed the music and will definitely be making an effort to listen to more of Woomble’s solo work.