Supping Wi’ Fifers: Idlewild indie legend Roddy Woomble making amends for ‘Dundee-Fife divide’ of his youth!

Roddy Woomble
Roddy Woomble

He has toured the world as frontman of Scottish Indie giants Idlewild.

But acclaimed songwriter Roddy Woomble, who grew up in Carnoustie, laughs when asked if he visited Fife much as a child.

“Ah the Dundee-Fife divide – you know what it’s like – I didn’t go to Fife very much as a child,” he says, with a nod to his Dundonian parents.

“We’d go to St Andrews occasionally. But if we went anywhere in Scotland we went north into the Highlands rather than into Fife. Now I regard it as a beautiful part of the country of course!”

Roddy recently toured the UK in celebration of the 10th year anniversary of his debut solo album, My Secret Is My Silence.

He’ll also be touring with Idlewild following the release of a new album next year.

However, the 42-year-old will be making up for his lack of Fife visits as a youngster when he appears on the bill at James Yorkston’s Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer in Kirkcaldy for the second time in two years on Saturday (November 17).

Playing with Dundee-based multi-instrumentalist and Idlewild bandmate Andrew Mitchell, aka Andrew Wasylyk, of Michael Marra and The Hazey Janes fame, Roddy is appearing on the same bill as master guitarist, singer and songwriter Archie Fisher MBE – one of Scotland’s foremost troubadours.

Also on the bill is Ora Cogan, renowned for her “blissful sonic intensity”, who has released seven albums to date and collaborated with a multitude of artists while touring extensively.

“I’ve known James for a number of years,” he says.

“We’ve been on the same bills at festivals and things like that.

“It was really nice to be asked to do it last year. A really interesting evening of music.

“So when he asked me again I was delighted. I mean Archie Fisher is playing – he’s like a stalwart of Scottish folk.

“The other act is much more contemporary. James picks really interesting acts.

“They all complement each other in different ways.

“It’s going to be an interesting night again.”

With many artists gravitating towards Scotland’s cities, Roddy says he enjoys playing venues like Fife which can be a “bit of a vacuum for music”.

He thinks more promoters should follow the model James does with his eclectic nights.

However, with four solo records, a number of collaborations and 10 Idlewild records to choose from, plus new material available, he’s sure the Tae Sup audience won’t be left wanting.

Roddy says he and Andrew enjoy touring together. But perhaps not surprisingly it’s a different dynamic to playing with the full band.

“It’s a completely different thing really,” he says.

“The band is like a rock band that plays larger venues and has a crowd that are up for it in a completely different way to when Andrew and I take to the stage in small arts venues and theatres. “It’s much more conversational almost.

“But it’s much more intimate in that way when it’s just the two of us working through our songs and hopefully entertaining the audience somehow. Neither of us are flamboyant performers!”

Roddy says his song writing inspirations depends on what type of song it is.

Some rock songs don’t require too much thought if riff orientated, he says.

His solo material by contrast tends to be more introspective.

“The inspiration comes from various experiences that I’ve lived through,” he says. “I started the band when I was 18 and I’m 42 now. Over that period of time a lot happens to you.

“Mainly it’s just drawn from life but obviously all the inspiration and the things you find inspiration from seeps into it somehow.”

Roddy Woomble

Roddy says there should be some promotional work around the album next year.

However, after 25 years, he says the band are “quite realistic” now about what they can expect to achieve.

“We’ll definitely be on tour,” he says, “and we’ll definitely do festivals. Other than that I don’t know.

We’ll take anything else as it comes along!”

*James Yorkston presents: Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer: Roddy Woomble/Archie Fisher/Ora Cogan, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, November 17, www.onfife.com

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