Live Review: Idlewild @ Bristol’s Fleece

By on Sunday, 17th August 2008 at 11:07 pm

“We first played here about 10 years ago… and it’s just as hot as last time!” commented Idlewild‘s Roddy Woomble mid-way through their sell-out set at Bristol’s Fleece. Hot wasn’t the word – crammed to the rafters, the tiny ancient pub has obviously seen some hot ‘n’ sweaty ones, but I’d imagine last night was right up with the sweatiest of them all.

Opening up the evening they did as they did in London: a short acoustic set, a quick break, and then a full electric set with lots of B-Sides and rareities. Perfect for the obsessive Idlewild fan, not so for those not so familiar with their rarer b-sides. A lot chattier than last time, Roddy took requests – a girl yelled for “Meet Me at the Harbour”, which they launched into instead of the setlisted “Gone too Long”

The intimate show served as a warm up for a festival the band are playing today in the South West, having been asked to play by the Levellers who organised it. Asking the crowd what goes on at a Levellers festival, he shrugged and said “I guess they drink a hell of a lot of cider!”.

The band were on fine form – as tight as ever, stopping mid-song and restarting in perfect unison, and managing to make old songs sound as fresh as anything a band newer than them have done in years. Roddy, seemingly at ease with their longevity explained how he’d just turned 32, and some of the songs had been around since he was just 17.

By the time they went off stage at 11:20 Idlewild had came, seen and conquered the south of England. When they’ll be back on tour is anybody’s guess, but we were just lucky to catch them at the top of their game.

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