Brilliant Idlewild rock The Waterfront in triumphant Norwich return
- Credit: Archant
Scottish indie rock favourites headlined Norwich Waterfront on Tuesday, April 30
Even Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble seems unsure of when his band last played in Norwich.
'It was 2005,' he insists before being corrected by the crowd that it was actually 10 years ago.
Either way, Idlewild haven't changed a bit, they're still the loud, brash-though-melodic Scottish six piece that burst out of the indie rock scene just before the turn of the century.
And, while their Y2K era British peers such as Symposium and A have sunk without trace, Idlewild are still here unleashing their cracking set list that takes in their favourites having regrouped at the start of this decade after a three-year hiatus.
The melody-drenched You Held The World In Your Arms is an early highlight and a reminder that the number 9 hit from 2002 came just as they threatened to become a real mainstream force.
I saw them that summer at Ipswich's Chantry Park in an improbable line up alongside Liberty X, Natalie Imbruglia and Miss Dynamite at Radio 1's One Big Sunday, compared by Mark and Lard. They were the best thing there by a mile
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I'd been a fan of them for four years then and they're still are the same raw force they were when I last saw them in Norwich nearly 21 years ago - Roddy's aloof stage presence hasn't really changed – he seems equally happy yelling down the mic as he does wandering around out of the spotlights with hands tucked in his pockets.
It works, though, and any music fan will testify that Roddy's voice is both unique and instantly recognisable from the turbo-charged Roseability to the crowd favourite A Little Discourage.
When I Argue I See Shapes is the song that first turned me on to the band when Roddy and I were both in our early 20s as Tony Blair was still settling in to life at Number 10 and the Millennium Bug was apparently going to bring down the world.
It's always great to check in again with a band that you'd seen at the start of their career and nice to tick off that I've now seen them in three different decades.
Idlewild's songs don't seem to have any political leanings or controversial subjects, they're more about the human condition, feelings and emotions - I wonder if they'd emerged now if that would be a little different.
They could also have been a huge stadium band by now but intimacy works best and the Waterfront faithful are treated to a frantic encore with the dynamic and fast Everybody Says That You're So Fragile packing a potent punch as this excellent band started to bring proceedings to a close.