WHEN Scottish indie veterans Idlewild first announced their legendary five-night run at Glasgow’s King Tut’s ten years ago, there were certainly more than a few eyebrows raised. Never before had a band taken up residency in the iconic venue for this length of time; nor had they promised to cover their entire back catalogue in such a quick succession of shows. Just last week, tickets for the band’s return to the venue in a decade for the Rooted In Scotland launch with Help Musicians sold out in two hours. Here we take a look at those iconic run of shows ahead of the gig on 1st February 2018.
While the idea has since been replicated by other bands over the years, it was deemed a highly ambitious and innovative move by the Edinburgh outfit back in 2008. With the aim of playing a different album in its entirety each night, they kicked things off on the 17th December by delving back into their first full-length, 1998’s Hope Is Important. Described at the time by The Scotsman as “a set for Idlewild’s most dedicated fans to cherish”, they added that the jagged, punchy nature of their early material “almost reintroduced early-era Idlewild as precursors of Biffy Clyro”.
From the wiry post-grunge assault displayed on this first outing, they followed up a riotous opening night by retreating into 100 Broken Windows, the iconic Remote Part, Warnings/Promises and Make Another World over the course of the next four gigs. The five-night residency was not only a spin on the pre-Christmas local show but it was an extension of the popular trend to revisit classic albums and perform them in their entirety at that time; and the band proved that they had the depth of material to pull it off with aplomb.
With all the tickets snapped up well ahead of schedule, the five-piece received rave reviews and set a record at the world-famous venue which lasted nearly ten years before The View knocked them off the top spot last February with their own sold-out six-night run. Nevertheless, the legendary gigs are still remembered fondly by Idlewild’s dedicated fanbase and secured the outfit’s place in Scottish musical history.
A band often taken for granted by those who are unaware of their large back catalogue, it is easy to forget the importance of Idlewild’s legacy since they first emerged twenty years ago. Would the likes of Biffy Clyro and Frightened Rabbit sound the way they do if they hadn’t listened to these albums first? Once purveyors of short, sharp, serrated noise fuelled by a wildly zealous energy and youthful outlook, the band’s sound matured over the years to become brawnier, mellower and more anthemic in nature. 2000’s 100 Broken Windows, an exemplary balance of distortion and melody and 2002’s iconic Remote Part were arguably their biggest triumphs; the latter of which featured iconic tracks and chest-beating anthems such as ‘You Held The World In Your Arms’, ‘American English’ and ‘In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction’ and saw them finally achieve the mainstream success they had been promising for years.
From fan favourites to teenage confusion, their rich back catalogue is still thoroughly adored by fans all over the country. It was no surprise then that news of the band’s long-awaited return to King Tut’s next month was met with widespread joy when it was revealed earlier this week. With all tickets disappearing within days of the announcement, the special show on Thursday 1st February will mark their first appearance at the venue since those legendary gigs ten years ago.
Organised to coincide with the official opening of Help Musicians Scotland, the night will not only be an extraordinary opportunity to catch one of the nation’s most well-loved outfits in intimate surroundings but it will also support a very good cause. Help Musicians UK is the leading independent charity for those working in the UK music industry and their arrival in Scotland will uniquely benefit our nation’s musicians, provide bespoke Scottish programming and campaigns plus link to the charity’s near-100 years of health and welfare support for the music industry. Importantly, all of the funds raised in Scotland will stay in Scotland to help support the industry and its needs.
The Rooted In Scotland launch event will celebrate the beginning of this new Scottish operation and will feature stron line-up of exciting up and coming Scottish talent including Be Charlotte, Indigo Velvet and Skjor aswell as a special acoustic set from the headliners. As one of the country’s most successful bands with over twenty years of experience to their name, Idlewild are therefore the perfect band to headline such an event; a night which will undoubtedly bring back a lot of memories for their long-time fans. Find out more w.