Idlewild singer RODDY WOOMBLE has urged fans not to be sad about the departure of bassist BOB FAIRFOULL, despite their chants for his return.
As reported over the weekend, Idlewild played their first gig without departed bass player Fairfoull in front of a 10,000-capacity home crowd at Glasgow’s SECC on Friday night (October 4), on the opening night of their biggest UK tour to date, supporting Coldplay.
Frontman Roddy Woomble made no reference to Fairfoull’s absence on stage during their 40-minute set.
While the majority of the crowd was supportive of the band on one of the biggest non-festival UK shows of their career, singing along and giving them an enthusiastic reception, there was clearly some disappointment, with reports of a group of fans chanting “Bring back Bob”.
Now, writing on the band’s official website, Woomble claims that touring with Idlewildwas “ruining” Fairfoull, and that time away from the band will be good for him.
He said: “It all got a little weird for us last week. Last weekend I was in Brussels, I’m admiring the plants in the dressing room, Rod’s working out Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ on guitar, Colin’s reading his Graham Greene novel and nobody knows where Bob is.
“One week later, we’re in a massive barn in Newcastle. I’m sitting here typing, Rod’s sitting here listening to a radio drama, Colin’s outside and nobody knows where Bob is, and that’s what it’ll be like from now on.
“I’ve no interest in talking for Bob, it’s unfair and he’s my friend, albeit a wayward, estranged one. All you need to know is that being on tour was ruining him, and I’m sure if you find him and ask him he’ll agree that he needs some time in his own environment to understand exactly what he wants. I’m proud of every concert we played with Bob on bass even if they were sometimes awful.
“So, currently, we’re getting used to playing again, and what better place to start than a cavernous aircraft hanger tour supporting Coldplay. It’s going to take some getting used to. It’s a weird challenge. It’s definitely taken us a few nights to get our heads around. Apologies to any who came on first nights. Understand its weirdness.
“Don’t be sad about it, I was at first but it was getting unhealthy and now it’s getting better.”
An official statement on Thursday (October 3) cited “personal problems” as the reason for Fairfoull’s departure. It comes at the pinnacle of the band’s commercial success to date, with their third full-length album ‘The Remote Part’ entering the charts at Number Three and spawning a Top Ten hit in ‘You Held The World In Your Arms’ and Top Twenty single ‘American English’.
Idlewildhave been in intensive rehearsals with replacement Alex Grant – a long-serving guitar tech in the band’s crew and a member of Glasgow band Desalvo.