Luckily, this only lasted three years and, when they came back, they came back with a vengeance, leading to an array of conversations not dissimilar to the below:
"Do you fancy going to Deep Sea World on Saturday? Idlewild are going to play a set."
"Nah, I'm going to my niece's christening in Galashiels."
"Ah nice. I hear Idlewild are playing that as well."
Despite them playing seemingly everywhere in Scotland, seemingly every day of the year, It didn't take long for me to take Idlewild for granted again. This is mostly due to their big comeback album being a bit of a let down and the subsequent tour inevitably being a little too centred around it.
It was a shame. Idlewild were once one of my favourite bands but my response to seeing that they were paying Electric Fields bill was "Aye, fuck it. That'll be alright."
I did recently try and get tickets to see them play the third and my favourite Idlewild LP, The Remote Part, in full but, once again, I missed the boat. I tried to get a second hand ticket off Gumtree but the prick selling them would only sell both at once. It's not my fault I have no mates.
You can imagine my suspense when I saw the wee Remote Part boy on their bass drum.
When they took the stage, my heart was in my mouth, hoping they’d start with album opener 'You Held the World in Your Arms'. They didn’t but I was in no way disappointed.
Last year, Frightened Rabbit played Electric Fields and a lot of this year’s festival was in tribute to the late Scott Hutchison. There were tribute videos to him, there were listening parties for Mastersystem's only album, there was a really nice mural for him outside the DIY Tent.
Idlewild decided to open their set with the Frightened Rabbit classic 'Head Rolls Off'. Simply put, it was one of Scotland’s best bands paying homage to one of Scotland's best songwriters by masterfully covering one of his best songs. It was a really nice touch and near impossible not to get a little choked up during it.
Idlewild then did play 'You Held The World', then The Remote Part’s second track 'A Modern Way of Letting Go'. At this point, I’m just muttering, the album's third song, 'American English' under my breath. Sadly, it wasn’t to be though as they launched into 'Roseability' instead.
It was the world telling me I missed my chance. It was the girl I fancied getting back together with her shithead ex. You know what? I hope no one bought that guy’s tickets and he ended up £40 in the hole. I hope he considered messaging me saying the single ticket was still up for grabs but was too embarrassed to do.
Once, I put my bitterness behind me, though, I started to really enjoy the set. Despite not being on my beloved The Remote Part, I loved hearing songs like perfectly uplifting 'El Capitan' and grungey singalong 'Little Discourage'.
It was a greatest hits gig. If they’d played this set when I saw them on their comeback tour, I’d probably be going to Grangemouth Oil Refinery or Skara Brae for one of their trademark we'll-play-fucking-everywhere-in-Scotland sets.
They didn't play anything off their last two albums and only played one track from their third to last (their 5th), making me worry that they're becoming a nostalgia act.
Their first four albums are fucking brilliant though and the best thing about them is that, with each one, you can hear them take steps from being a band described by NME as like "a flight of stairs falling down a flight of stairs" to this rich sounding adult contemporary band with soaring melodies. Therefore, when they play angsty, dissonant jams like 'A Film for the Future' off their debut Hope Is Important with this huge band including keys and strings, it sounds really interesting. It's almost like they're covering their own song.
The set closes perfectly with 'In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction' with Edwin Morgan's iconic 'Scottish Fiction' poem playing over a gorgeous added instrumental section.
Yeah, they didn't play the set I wanted but, when a band's opener and closer has you fighting back tear, you're reminded just how much you love them.
I'll see you at you at The Falkirk Wheel next week, Idlewild.