Updated: Idlewild Track Pirates After Fan-Funded Album Leaks

Update: Idlewild bassist Gareth Russell, apparently posting in our comments below, says the Woomble Twitter persona is false; Roddy isn’t threatening legal action…

Original: Back in February, I paid £15 to Idlewild – one of my favourite bands – as they emulated Marillion and, increasingly, others by going down the fan-funding route. Having been let go by EMI’s Parlophone, the band instead sought fans’ direct contributions, in return promising a limited-edition mail-order CD with their names in the liner notes (here’s mine), early tickets to a series of special shows and members-only access to live back-catalogue tracks online.

It’s fair to say the process was neither smooth nor slick, hampered by several pressing and web server problems – but that’s been the charm and, last Friday, the CD arrived on my doorstep sporting something the band can be proud of: the notice “(p) & (c) Idlewild” and no mention of other rightsholders whatsoever.

Enclosed in the package, this note (via Martin Belam): “Each album is electronically watermarked to prevent and track internet uploads so we kindly ask you to honour the ideals behind Idlewild’s first self-release. You, our fans, paid for this album in advance so you would receive it before a general release. Please don’t give it away for free.”

But a downhearted lyricist Roddy Woomble tweeted Monday…

What’s interesting is to see how much Woomble needs to hang on to his revenue stream. For a band in Idlewild’s position (they’re great, but hardly a top 10 act in this day and age), the material losses could be profound.