Roddy Woomble: live at the Crescent Community Venue

Scottish singer, songwriter and writer Roddy Woomble performed live at the Crescent Community Venue, York on 12th March 2017.

Review by Alice Jane.

Roddy Woomble is best known as the lead singer and frontman for Scottish indie rock band Idlewild, who broke onto the scene with their 1998 full length debut Hope is Important, after their debut release Captain flew under the radar. This was then followed up in 2000 and 2002 with two albums that fared better in the charts and moved the band further away from their punk influenced roots, in favour of a more laid back sound. After living in New York during the height of the band’s fame, Woomble returned to his native Scotland and opted for a tranquil life on the Isle of Mull in response to the hectic schedule of recording and touring imposed by Idlewild’s record label.

It was around this time that he started to branch out into collaborating with other musicians and started to release the results under his own name. His newly acquired island lifestyle is reflected in his music, which is highly influenced by Scottish folk, which he brought to the Crescent Community Venue off Blossom Street in York last night. The bill featured just a single support act who played a short set, and while it was an enjoyable one we couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed at this fact. York has a vibrant folk music scene, so for the organisers to not arrange some local acts to get the crowd warmed up has to be noted as a missed opportunity.

However, all was forgiven once Roddy came on stage and started his set. He was joined on stage by a three piece backing band featuring a guitarist, violinist, and a bass/electric piano player, all of whom contributed vocals at various points and helped to build harmonies that were beautifully mesmerising. This was not the kind of gig to inspire a visible reaction, but more one where people could relax and let the music wash over them, like slipping into a hot bath with a glass of wine and unwinding at the end of a long day. The laid back ambience was a world away from the raucous atmosphere of an Idlewild gig, but he still managed to slip a few of their hits into his set successfully by playing both Little Discourage and American English.

Overall, definitely an experience to recommend, even for people who aren’t necessarily interested in folk music or who consider themselves to be Idlewild fans.