Idlewild started out at a flat party in Edinburgh in 1995 where founding
band members met and found common ground in musical tastes. The
starting line up was Roddy Woomble, Rod Jones, Colin Newton and Phil
Scanlon. Scanlon was soon replaced by Bob Fairfoull. Appearing in 1996
as an angry band of Scottish punks with Woomble of Carnoustie leading
the band, Idlewild eventually achieved commercial recognition by
refining their taste for large-scale guitar rock, and combining it with
an apparently unknown gift for melody and tenderness.
1996’s Queen of the Troubled Teens was their debut, a self released 7”
single that got praised by popular BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamaq. 1997 saw
their next single “Chandelier”, which was released by Feirce Panda. 1998
saw the release of “Captain” (on Deceptive Records) a mini-album of
chaotic punk, which, while achieving a significant fanbase among British
teenagers, demonstrated little of the facets that would mark them out
as such talented indie-rockers. Some of those were seen on that year’s
full-length, “Hope Is Important”. Carrying a more subdued, top 20 hit
single “When I Argue I See Shapes”, Idlewild started to make commercial
and critical inroads. Jeremy Mills joined the band in 1999 (he left in
2000’s “100 Broken Windows” took this indie-punk sound and refined it,
ballads like album closer “The Bronze Medal” were already a million
miles from the nihilism and chaos of early tracks such as “Self Healer”.
“Windows…” was a substantial success, charting inside the top 15, and
drawing early comparisons to R.E.M’s angrier output - as both bands were
declared fans of each other at the time, this is unsurprising.
The band were once described by the NME as "...the sound of a flight of stairs falling down a flight of stairs."
For further information -