Electric Brixton, London
Sunday 21st November 2021
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IDLEWILD – ELECTRIC BRIXTON – LIVE REVIEW
“..how does it feel to be three years late?..” – ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’, Idlewild
One knock on effect of the pandemic, albeit insignificant in the greater scheme of things yet incredibly grinding to music anoraks, is the issue of Anniversary Tours. With many such as tonight’s now out of sync. Idlewild may not be three years late, but their 25th Anniversary Tour is now in fact their not so poignant 26th Anniversary Tour!
That doesn’t temper the anticipation from the groups die-hard following with tonight sold out in advance and, even with no support act, Electric Brixton fills up early to await their heroes.
That is exactly how they are greeted when they arrive onstage and launch straight into ‘Dream Variations’, ‘Roseability’ and ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’. This sets the rest of the night up perfectly as the band celebrate every album throughout the next incredible two hours of music.
WATCH ‘DREAM VARIATIONS’ ON YOUTUBE
Naturally for such a tour, nostalgia is prominent throughout the evening and it’s fantastic to see early mainstay bassist Bob Fairfoull joining the band on numerous older tracks throughout the evening. Whilst all the big hits as it were are in the mix, there are also some rarer tracks which help to make the evening feel special.
Idlewild have always been a stunning live band and tonight is truly a pinch yourself moment; how can this band remain this good after 26 years! The fans certainly help, as they get more and more animated as the evening progresses.
Throughout the show you wait for the momentum to slow, for a track to fall flat, but the quality tonight is relentless. It’s therefore hard to pick highlights but ‘Little Discourage’, ‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’, ‘Live In A Hiding Place’ and ‘El Capitan’ naturally elicit jubilation from the crowd.
The likes of ‘Collect Yourself’, ‘Everyone Says You’re So Fragile’, ‘A Ghost In The Arcade’ and ‘These Wooden Ideas’ however are equally cherished. By the time the main set concludes with ‘The Modern Way of Letting Go’ and ‘American English’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that the night has peaked.
What immediately follows however is a real treat for old school fans as the iconic four piece version of the line-up grace the stage for early track, ‘Self Healer’. They are gradually joined by the rest of the current band as they plough through fellow early numbers ‘4 People Do Good’ and ‘Captain’.
Once again, you’d be ecstatic to finish it there, however Idlewild treat fans to ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ and ‘In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction’ to deliver a truly epic finale. But much like the MCU now delivers two post-credits scenes, Idlewild still have one last parting shot for the packed crowd.
Whereas those scenes usually preview the future, Idlewild return for a final encore of old favourite ‘A Film For The Future’. After 26 years tonight feels like the epic final battle against Thanos. The hope though is that it simply means that we are entering the next phase for a treasured band.
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