It had to come to an end some time. After splitting with their record label three years ago and putting out two pretty decent albums whilst moving down through smaller and smaller venues, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble has seemingly announced the band’s imminent split. Calling it a ‘hiatus’, the singer seems to imply that the band aren’t viable anymore, denoting the lack of demand for their music as a reason. Speaking on the band’s MySpace blog, he wrote of their show at the London Forum:
Decided to let the audience know that it will be our last London show, which makes the remainder of the concert quite poignant. At the end of this final part of the tour we will have played 40 gigs around the UK and Ireland in support of ‘Post Electric Blues’, which seems more than enough for some time. There isn’t the demand for our music that there was in the past, especially not outside of Britain so it seems after this year it’s an appropriate time to take a break, a ‘hiatus’ or whatever you want to call it.
Not to cast shadows over the remaining concerts though, an irony of idlewild has always been that as we moved from the bigger halls into smaller halls and clubs we improved dramatically as a live band. Partly because the pressure had gone, but also with age we became tighter, more adaptable, confidant and importantly, more relaxed. At our ‘commercial peak’ or whatever you want to call it, we were frequently unprepared, stressed, scrappy and rigidly stuck to the same set of songs. Of course some people preferred this more, but we didn’t and now there’s a contentedness among the five of us with our concerts, which I think is reflected by the fact that the people that do come to the shows come to them again and again.
Though it’s a sad time for anyone who was inticed by their poetic brand of mainstream indie at the turn of the millenium, it’s been on the cards for some time, with recent singles not getting the radio play that the band would’ve got only a few years ago, and playing to a couple of hundred people a night probably isn’t the best way for middle aged men to support their families. It seems unlikely that this will be the last we see of them, whether as a unit or individually. Roddy himself has put out an individual effort, whilst Rod Jones begins his solo career with ‘A sentimental education’ which should be out later in the year.