When Idlewild took indefinite leave in 2010, it appeared guitarist Rod Jones would follow singer Roddy Woomble down the folk route. After all, 2009’s A Sentimental Education suggested a man at one with his acoustic guitar. When he sat down to write and record his next solo effort, however, something didn’t feel quite right.
‘I was about half way through the record and there was nothing I really liked,’ he says. ‘I was a bit fed up with the whole folk music thing – I mean every man and his dog was doing the faux folk thing.’
In a determined musical u-turn, Jones decided to learn the drums and plug in. A few new songs, and a rewrite here and there later, and the result was an album in need of a band. The Birthday Suit moniker he had been playing around with became an ever-evolving collective of local musicians, friends and family.
‘It’s essentially a solo project but it sounds like a band record – so I needed a band. It’s an ever-changing bistro of musicians.’
The Eleventh Hour is scheduled for release in October but first up is a headline UK tour, kicking off with a date at the Edge Festival. The inevitable comparisons with Idlewild are fine with Jones.
‘People say it sounds like 100 Broken Windows and I guess, yes, it sounds more like an early Idlewild record than I first anticipated. At any rate it’s a better fit for me. If and when we record another Idlewild record, I’ll still want to do another Birthday Suit record as well.’