Every time Idlewild visit Belfast, they seem to play in progressively smaller venues. Hardly the most encouraging sign for any band, some would say; but when it comes to music it’s vital to look beyond the cosmetic details and instead ask yourself “are they still worth seeing live?”. For me, the answer is inevitably “yes“, particularly if the ticket takes the form of a birthday present!

This was the sixth time I had seen Idlewild in the space of eight years, yet in some ways, it was the one I believe I’ll remember the most. The performance was, by and large, in competition with each of the others. All of the classics were played energetically and the majority of new songs were well received.

At the side of the stage, however, lay a clue to the future of this band. Instead of jumping about and getting caught up in the music as he normally would, the lead singer, Roddy, lurked for much of proceedings out in the shadows. Whether the rest of the band will now move that way too remains to be seen. Yet if their last track on “Post Electric Blues” is anything to go by, I wouldn’t bet against it. It’s sad in a way, but then time moves on, and so must we.