Gig review: Roddy Woomble, Glasgow

At the Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

At the Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

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Roddy Woomble could not wait the customary twenty or even thirty years before marking the anniversary of his debut solo album, My Secret Is My Silence, but this tenth birthday tour was a welcome snapshot of recent musical history, capturing a period when the Idlewild frontman was straining at the indie rock leash, determined to widen horizons and express his burgeoning love of folk music.

Roddy Woomble | Oran Mor, Glasgow | Rating ****

At the time, it was a pretty stark departure from Idlewild’s widescreen rocking but, a decade on, it sounded as comfortable as the down-to-earth demeanour Woomble adopted onstage, backed by a band of almost casual excellence, including his fellow Mull musicians, guitarist Sorren MacLean and fiddler Hannah Fisher, who took the muscular lead on a couple of numbers, plus Idlewild’s Luciano Rossi.

Opting to play the album in its entirety, they revisited some tracks rarely played in the interim as Woomble moved on to other projects. His worlds collided most effectively on folk rocker As Still As I Watch Your Grave, the rootsy pop rock of the title track and the dyamism and urgency of From the Drifter to the Drake but made just as much impact with the soft country lament Play Me Something, featuring the harmonised vocals of Woomble and Fisher with warm, sensitive backing from MacLean.

An extended encore of material from the rest of Woomble’s solo career expanded on the drive and purpose of that first solo foray, which has also fed into Idlewild’s recent glorious rebirth.

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