The good news for Roddy Woomble fans is that there are various ways to catch him live in his various line-ups in the coming months.
He headlines the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival next month as part of a solo tour and also plays a few gigs later in the year with the acoustic folk super group in which he features with Kris Drever and John McCusker.
On top of that, he is recording a new album with Indie giants Idlewild and will be back on stage as the group’s frontman when they tour in support of the new release next year.
It will be the third visit to HebCelt for Roddy, who has lived in Mull since 2008: “I love the Outer Hebrides. Having a festival there is great. I enjoy the size of the event and the staff and the crowd are friendly. It’s hard to fault.
“HebCelt is a great festival in a lovely town on a unique island. Both times I’ve played I’ve turned the journey into a holiday, hanging out for a while in Lewis and Harris. The weather was nice the first time too. Bonus.
“And the black pudding – excellent – and Stornoway has some great charity shops.”
Roddy founded Idlewild with Rod Jones when they were teenagers in Edinburgh in 1995. Their new album will be their eighth and their first since 2015’s ‘Everything Ever Written’, which itself came after a five-year gap, including the band taking a three-year hiatus.
‘Everything Ever Written’ was unveiled to fans during an acoustic tour in the Highlands and Islands, before being showcased on the festival circuit, including HebCelt.
While he continues to play with the band in which he initially made his name, Roddy has now been performing as a solo artist for 12 years. He released his first solo album ‘My Secret is My Silence’ in 2006 and his fifth and most recent ‘The Deluder’ at the end of last year.
The Drever, McCusker, Woomble dates were arranged to mark the tenth anniversary of their album ‘Before the Ruin’. So how does he view that album, and other earlier material like ‘My Secret is My Silence’, when he re-visits them?
“I still like them, mostly. I like the feel of them both. They each hold a mood. Some of my words I’m happy with too. Yes, I think they are both strong records. I’m glad other people enjoy them still.
“We usually like to alter them a bit for performance. It really depends on what musicians are playing.”
Being on the road offers a constant source of inspiration for Roddy, who grew up in America, France and the UK, and has lived in Glasgow and New York City.
“I like travelling”, he says, “and sitting in cafes with a notebook. Also, being in love is an inspiration.”
This year’s HebCelt runs from 18-21 July when headliners will also include Deacon Blue, The Fratellis, Eddi Reader and Skipinnish.
Day tickets for HebCelt are available exclusively from the festival website. See www.hebceltfest.com