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Remember when going to a gig left you feeling dirty afterwards? The sweat dripping off of you, your glasses knocked from your face, beer thrown around, and stinking like a cigarette factory? Well, tonight featured a return to those times (minus the cigarette smell) when I went to see Idlewild at ULU in London.

Choosing to save us the (occasional) torture of a support band, they decided to support themselves, playing two sets, first of all an acoustic set, before coming back to play a full electric set after “a little break in the room back there”, in lead singer Roddy Woomble’s words.
Their first acoustic set featured such crowd pleasers as “American English”, “No Emotion” and “El Capitan” as Roddy and the rest of the band warmed up, however quickly we realised that they were on top of their game, and we were in for a classic main Idlewild set. 15 minutes later the Scotsmen ambled back on stage for a set which was heavily B-sides and rarities based, which was great for the hardcore fans and not so great for the casual fan that had come out for a greatest hits set.

However, we did get some classics such as “Little Discourage”, “Love Steals Us From Loneliness”, “Out of Routine” and “Century after Century” along with one of the highlights by far of the evening, “Roseability”. The chorus call and response, “Gertrude Stein said ‘that’s enough’ / I know that that’s not enough now,” featured all 800-odd of the crowd yelling along, and the first of many crowd surfers, as the band returned to their harder sound of the first few records, before the folkier tinges of recent works.

Leaving a lot sweatier, and feeling like we’d just been trampled by a herd of elephants, Idlewild managed to show us that, even though they’re approaching middle age, they really are one of Scotland’s greatest bands.

8:30 - 9:00 Acoustic setlist:
You Held The World In Your Arms
No Emotion
When I Argue I See Shapes
You and I
Not Just Sometimes but Always
American English
El Capitan

9:15 - 10:35: Electric Setlist:
No Generation
In Competition
Distant History
I Was Made
Gone To Long
Century after Century
Love Steals Us From Loneliness
Make Another World
Out of Routine
A Modern Way of Letting Go
Little Discourage
Paint Nothing