Review and Photos by Marta

I guess it would be a good idea to start from the very beginning...

The gig was to start at 8 pm, but, as I luckily had found a place to stay one bus stop away from the Magnet Club, I decided to pop in in the afternoon, hoping to see the guys earlier. I heard them sound-checking and, of course, I started to batter the club's door. After a while, a guy from the club opened. I asked him to let me in, promising that I would only sit & listen & watch. But he refused, I insisted, but to no avail. So I went to my guesthouse, got ready, took my camera and the latest album cover for the guys to sign and went to the club at about 7. A few people were waiting outside, while Colin, Roddy & some crew members were sitting outside a restaurant next to the club. Oh, my god! I went up to them and… probably said that I had come to Berlin over 500 kms to see their gig and asked them if I could have a picture with them. They agreed and one of the guys took a pic of Roddy, Colin and me! I also took their autographs and, not wanting to disturb, I went to wait outside the club. I had a very nice conversation with a married couple from London, who had already seen Idlewild live three times and who were extremely surprised that I had come to Berlin from Warsaw on my own. Meanwhile, I also managed to get Alan and had a picture taken with him.

The club opened at about 8. People were buying drinks, chatting and the best thing was that you could talk to Colin and Roddy, who were hanging around. I asked them if they would come to Poland, even though I know they won't because I'd probably be the only person to attend the gig! Of course I wouldn't mind, but their management would not be amused! Roddy said "no", Colin had more mercy on me and said "maybe", he also asked me if we already had euros in Poland and was generally very nice to me.

There were only about 100 people in the club, so the atmosphere was fantastic, very closed-circle. Paul (the guy from London whom I'd been talking to earlier) told me that it would be impossible to have such access to the band in Britain. They're definitely one of quite a lot of bands, who are big in the UK, but hardly known in the rest of the world.

The first supporting band - Elikan Dew -nothing special. I don't remember any of their songs, to be honest. I was too busy talking to the couple from London. Probably, if they had been any good, I'd have stopped chatting. Nice music, but in one ear and out the other.

The second supporting act - James Blunt - did much better than Elikan Dew. His set was longer - about an hour and people in the audience seemed to enjoy it a lot, particularly the ballads, like "You're Beautiful".

Idlewild started their set at about 10. I took a better place to watch them - by the stage, just a few feet away from the guys. They began with some noisy stuff - Little Discourage and A Modern Way of Letting Go. I love such tunes, full of energy and I think they sounded fantastic live. This noisy, but beautiful warm-up was followed by less noisy, but still beautiful ballads Welcome Home and Love Steals Us From Loneliness. The gig was a mixture of old and new stuff, with 7 songs off the latest album, and a mixture of punky tunes (I Want A Warning, Film For The Future) with more gentle ones (American English, Live in the Hiding Place, Bronze Medal), and the audience enjoyed them both.

Particularly remarkable was a psychedelic performance of The Space Between All Things. Well, it's sounds odd on the album, and was even more psychedelic live. The guitar solo in it was extremely long - so long that Roddy managed to take a cigarette break during it - you can see it in one of the pics below.

90 odd minutes of the gig passed - I don't know when very quick - too quick. Unfortunately, there were no encores, just "thank you" and "bye". Afterwards, I stole a setlist from the floor (it was unbelievably battered as the guys had been treading on it), chatted to some people from the audience and went to my guesthouse at 1 a.m. I was sad that it had already been over but at the same time I was happy to have seen it - one of the best nights of my life. For a short time I seriously considered going to Cologne or Munich (they had gigs there after Berlin), and the only thing that stopped me was the fact that I only had about 50 euros on me…

All in all - a fantastic gig - well, I'm not a gig expert and Idlewild are one of my favorite bands, therefore I may not be very objective when I say it was so wonderful. But the people I talked to after the gig were delighted too. Going to Berlin to see Idlewild live in this tiny club was worth everything - the traveling, the money, skipping classes at the university, skipping my favorite Spanish classes, taking a leave from work, and so on. I enjoyed every single minute of the gig and every minute I thought, to quote a title of a song by Idlewild "I'm Happy To Be Here Tonight." J

1. Little Discourage
2. A Modern Way of Letting Go
3. Welcome Home
4. Love Steals Us From Loneliness
5. You Held the World in Your Arms Tonight
6. I Want a Warning
7. These Wooden Ideas
8. El Capitan
9. American English
10. The Space Between All Things
11. Live in a Hiding Place
12. I Understand It
13. I'm a Message
14. Blame It On The Obvious Ways
15. When I Argue I See Shapes
16. The Bronze Medal
17. Film For The Future

18. Listen To What You've Got
19. Roseability

Marta S, POland

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