f you ever leafed through the Encyclopaedia Britannica and found
'abode for a soon to be huge rock star‘ (like you would) you could well
be confronted by a snap of Roddy Woomble‘s front room. A round wooden table is the cluttered centrepiece and the walls are dotted with odd prints and photos torn from magazines. The mantelpiece is stacked with perilous piles of paperbacks. the floor littered with the bent spines of still- being-read books and discarded inner-sleeves of just—played albums. and there are stacks of vinyl and C Ds propped against the fireplace.
A picture of organised chaos. It is apparent from his surroundings that here is a man who has done the research for his chosen musical path. It's reflected in the sound and lyrics of his band. but in an uncontrived and organic way. He’s a smart fella and it shows.
Woomble is lead vocalist and lyricist with ldlewild. a quartet of men who are the finest band in all Scotland. ldlewild are a band (fuck it. let‘s just call them a pop band) who have the scope and quality to get an awful lot of people very excited. And excited they duly are.
They have been played up in certain circles as the new REM — secretly Woomble would prefer to be the new Smiths — with the potential to rest beside Travis in the rock-heroes million-seller club. But let‘s not get carried away here. One thing at a time. All aged 25. Woomble and his compadres may be old in boy band years but they have plenty of time to hone their stadium commanding skills.
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Without wishing to get all Mystic Meg on you. we here at List Mansions say ldlewild are on the cusp of something truly great. We’ve been lost in a musical landscape where a bunch of New York retroists are the only outcrop on a featureless terrain. yet here is a band that offers refuge during those cold dark nights between now and the next Strokes LP. And better than that: this is the future. not just the regurgitated past.
Back at Roddy‘s. the tea is made and he settles down with drummer Colin Newton to chat new records. new hopes and bad shoes. The new record? An exquisite eleven-track collection entitled The Remote Pan. The first teaser is a single ‘You Held The World In Your Arms’ which is in the shops now and has already been all over radio and MTV like a scabby rash.
It continues what the band describe as their own simple ‘leftfield take on pop music'. A skewed guitar anthem for those not keen on admitting they like anthems. A track that grows and grows on you like funy lichen with a scurrilously uplifting chorus which wheedles itself into your noodle and just plain refuses to get out. And this is only song one; just wait till you hear the rest.
And you will in July. when the album is ﬁnally released. but much has happened to bring the band to this point. ‘We went into the studio with Stephen Street [he of Blur and Smiths fame] early last year and recorded seven songs then headed for the US.‘ Woomble explains in his soft. hurried tones. ‘l()() Broken Windows [the band‘s second LP] had just been released
25 Apr—9 May 2002 THE LIST 17