future, present and past

12th February, 2015

    For the past few weeks i have been firmly seconded in all things German. Partly this is because i am keenly anticipating idlewilds first German tour in eight years, but also because it is one of my favourite european countries and I rarely get to go. My Neu, Can, Kraftwerk and Popul Vuh albums have been on the turntable, my WG Sebald and Goethe books off the shelf, and several frothy weissbiers have been drunk. ‘Krautrock’ has long been a favourite musical genre of mine - bands like NEU and Can seem to take ordinary instruments to a fairly far out place. David Stubbs recent and excellent book on the subject ‘Future days’ is a must read for all fans of experimental German rock ‘…they sought to meld future, present and past into a single unbroken continuum..’

    ‘Everything ever written’ is out now - two years of procrastinating and working on the songs and the recordings, and now it is in the public domain. This also means of course, that it is no longer in our possession and protection and is open for scrutiny and criticism for all those who wish to scrutinise and criticise. At least only for a short while, and then the music is allowed to settle into it’s own time & space and soundtrack people’s lives and be enjoyed the way it was intended to be. 

    I have written before about the strange relationship between the critic and the artist. It is and always will be a very weird experience to have your work put under review. Most people have experienced this in some way or another I suppose. No matter how many times you release a record, the few weeks when journalists and bloggers start reviewing what you have been working on carries with it a certain emotionally draining quality. ‘Everything ever written’ has generally been very well received so far - lots of positive reviews, a few especially so. No stinkers as yet - “..the problems with this band rest squarely at the feet of Woomble..” luckily nothing along these lines.

    almost 20 years into a music career I realise that we are lucky to be still getting the coverage we are getting.  Good reviews, bad reviews, in-different reviews - I am really proud of the album and i think we have done a great job piecing it together. I think fans will love it. Really, these are the only things that matter. It is unlike any of our other work, in the way it was made, and also the way the it has ended up sounding. It is a transitional album as it started off with just Rod and I, then colin, then Lucci and finally Andrew.  Started as a duo, ending as a new band. Great contributions along the way also by Gordon Maclean, David Jack, Sam Irvine and Rod’s sister Catrin, whose string quartet played on a number of songs. The next album we make we will be a band from the start. We have already begun writing songs for that too. 

    the priority now is to play some gigs! I guess one of the main aims we have as a band this year is to play further afield. We haven’t been to America for a decade. Japan for eight years, and mainland Europe for eight years either (although that is changing with the five German shows and Amsterdam gig in February and March) The album is being distributed all over the world via Essential, in Japan via the label ‘Vinyl Japan’ .You might have to seek it out somewhat, but ‘everything ever written’ is available worldwide! hopefully people will listen/buy, reviewers will notice, radio stations will give the songs a spin, and then we can get our asses over to some of these countries and play some concerts. 

    the 3rd single from the album will be ‘every little means trust’ - we are even making a video for this - it will be our first video since ‘No emotion’ in 2007 - it is going to feature a famous actor, who is a big fan of the band. That’s about all i can say about it just now. It is a fine Idlewild song/single, following in the tradition of ‘american english’, ‘live in a hiding place’ ‘love steals us from loneliness’ … songs for everyone - songs that are easy to sing along to, songs with ‘.. choruses built for singing into the wind atop remote cairns over the crackle of a damp cagoule…’ as writer Ben Myers put it in his very kind and complimentary album review recently.