Idlewild reunite with former bassist Bob Fairfoull at London anniversary show

"We're going to travel back to 1997"

Idlewild were joined by former bassist Bob Fairfoull at a London gig to mark the band’s 25th anniversary last night (Sunday November 21). See footage and the setlist below.

The Scottish indie veterans had originally intended to tour to mark their 25 years together last year, but were forced to postpone due to COVID. To mark finally arriving in the capital, the band performed a career-spanning set at Brixton Electric with songs from their 1998 first release ‘Captain’ up to their latest album ‘Interview Music’.

The band also invited former bassist Bob Fairfoull on stage. Fairfoull was a member of the band from 1997 when they first achieved cult status, but left in 2002 after a backstage altercation during the tour for their breakthrough third album ‘The Remote Part‘.


“Please welcome our old friend Bob Fairfoull on stage,” frontman Roddy Woomble told the crowd while introducing old fan favourite ‘Satan Polaroid’. “We’re going to travel back to 1997”.

Fairfoull remained on stage to play bass on ‘I’m A Message’ from their 1998 debut album proper ‘Hope Is Important’, before performing ‘Listen To What You’ve Got’ from 2000’s ‘100 Broken Windows’. “It’s like being back at The Water Rats, The Garage or The Hope & Anchor,” quipped Woomble, harking back to their early punk gigs in London.

“Since it’s the 25th anniversary of the band we’re going to play the first song we ever wrote together,” Woomble told the crowd while introducing their first encore’s opening song ‘Self Healer’ with Fairfoull returning for bass duties. “I don’t know if I can even sing that high any more, but I’m going to try.”

Woomble then followed up with: “Continuing the theme, here’s the second song we ever wrote,” to introduce ‘4 People Do Good’, and then saying: “This is the third song we ever wrote, that same afternoon,” before playing a raucous outing of ‘Captain’.


Fairfoull then left the stage as the rest of the band played through ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ and ‘In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction’, before returning to play additional guitar for the second encore with early single ‘A Film For The Future’.

Idlewild played:

‘Dream Variations’
‘You Held the World in Your Arms’
‘Collect Yourself’
‘Little Discourage’
‘Readers & Writers’
‘Satan Polaroid’
‘I’m a Message’
‘Listen to What You’ve Got’
‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’
‘Interview Music’
‘Live in a Hiding Place’
‘City Hall’
‘Everyone Says You’re So Fragile’
‘Make Another World’
‘I Understand It’
‘A Ghost in the Arcade’
‘These Wooden Ideas’
‘El Capitan’
‘A Modern Way of Letting Go’
‘American English’

‘Self Healer’
‘4 People Do Good’
‘When I Argue I See Shapes’
‘In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction’

Encore 2:
‘A Film for the Future’

This year also saw the band release the book In The Beginning There Were Answers to mark their 25th anniversary.

Idlewild’s remaining UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.

27 – Edinburgh, Usher Hall

4 – Dublin, Button Factory
5 – Belfast, Empire Music Hall