UEA LCR, Norwich

> UEA LCR, Norwich

There's nothing better than going to a gig with low expectations and being wowed by the main act.

Having only really heard Idlewild's latest single Love Steals Us From Loneliness, a pleasant, thoughtful but unspectacular ballad, I was expecting a set list of more of the same at the LCR last night.

There were plenty of epic-sounding guitar tunes on show (and with four guitars playing on most songs, they were bigger than most), but Idlewild displayed much more.

The recurring themes of uncertainty and isolation in their latest album Warnings/Promises were driven home in songs like the stirring Disconnected, and contrasted to great effect with the soaring optimism and poetic lyrics of American English, a quieter favourite from their last album, The Remote Part.

Best of all though was their harder, punk-like early material, particularly when lead singer Roddy Woomble stood by the side of the stage for a smoke and a beer to watch the band's guitarists let loose on a five-minute guitar duel that left the audience stunned and energised for the songs that followed.

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Not something that fellow Scots Snow Patrol are likely to copy on their next tour.

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