Roddy Woomble. The Sage. 4.9.17


Roddy Woomble recently described his new album, ‘The Deluder’, to NE Volume as an introspective piece of work which sound tracked, potentially, a midlife crisis.

Whether in the midst of a crisis or not the albums strength lay in Woomble’s ability to create a body of work which was rich in its honest, open, search for answers to complicated questions of ageing, fatherhood and masculinity.  These were questions which Roddy was humble enough to admit that he did not know the answers to.

Additionally, for all of the deep thought, dry wit and clever melodies, perhaps most impressive was Woomble’s refusal to flaunt his intelligence and thereby disengage his audience; a regular trap for sophisticated songwriters.

Proving that his humbleness is not just for the recording studio, Woomble’s stage presence, involves him purposefully refusing to take centre stage and regularly disappearing out of the spot light.  Perhaps a deliberate approach to directing the audience’s attention, Roddy nudges our focus towards his vocals (when on stage) and the fine musicianship of his four-piece band (when off stage).

In a fine set, it’s recent single, ‘Jupiter’, which is the evenings high point, perfectly encapsulating the intellect and surrealist lyrics, strong singing voice and interplaying musicianship reminiscent of Woomble’s solo output.  In a live setting there is a strong connection with Ryan Adam’s Americana outfit Whiskeytown; emotive lyrics set to progressive traditional sounds.

Cordial, and humorous, between song chat helps, and is needed, to provide an atmosphere in an audience that is respectful, attentive but perhaps a little too reserved; which seems a regular challenge for artists playing the Sage.

Proving once again that rock, folk and intellect blend together well when given proper consideration, this was a fine, emotive, show by an artist who’s output is consistently excellent.

If this is the result of a midlife crisis, then I can’t wait for mine.

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