Why I’ll Miss Idlewild

It’s a sad day when one of your favourite childhood bands decides to kick the proverbial bucket – regardless of how embarrassed you are now about the devotion you bestowed on them back then.

And so it is with Idlewild who, after 15 years, six LPs and one mini-album, have decided to go “on hiatus”.

Now, to say I liked this band when I was 16 is putting it mildly. I was obsessed. Principally because there weren’t many bands around when I was a kid that had a guitarist that played with his teeth (Rod Jones), a bassist who could consume his whole body weight in vodka before each gig and still get up on stage to play somewhat comprehensively (Bob Fairfoull), as well as a singer that sang as petulantly as I felt back then (Roddy Woomble).

But Idlewild did all those things and more. Not only that, their debut mini-album ‘Captain’ was a furious blast of post-punk rock anarchy that was the perfect antidote to the post-Britpop sugar crash left by the likes of Elastica et al.

Given their sometimes chaotic, sometimes shambolic live performances, it’s little wonder that they were once described as a “flight of stairs falling down a flight of stairs” by this here magazine or that they were asked to perform at the NME Awards shows back in 1998:

But what makes this latest announcement even sadder is that the only reason they’ve decided to call it a day is because, as Woomble put it: “There isn’t the demand for our music that there was in the past”.

True enough they aren’t as good as they used to be – turning those Slint-esque influences of their debut into the MOR sixth form poetry ramblings of ‘Warnings/Promises’, and the kind of fodder that gets played over football montages on Match Of The Day.

But a part of me wishes they’d go on forever – if only so that I could hear ‘Satan Polaroid’, ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ and ‘These Wooden Ideas’ once more in all their glorious fury.

How will you remember them?