EVERY so often, an album will come along that no one was quite expecting. It will marry all the artists' strengths and carve out a course through new territory. It will take them to new heights and leave behind an enduring legacy for years to come.

In July, 2002, Idlewild released their third record amid a wave of optimism. All the in-house indicators were positive: the labels were offering real support, critics were blown away and the first two singles had edged into the top 15 of the UK Charts. All the signs were that The Remote Part was going to be massive.

"We hold the album in a bit of a special place," frontman Roddy Woomble tells The Weekender. "It opened up so many opportunities to travel and play shows, to meet people and record new music –to live a creative life.

"It was our most commercially-successful record by a considerable amount; it was universally critically-acclaimed as well. With those two things combined, it can mean something quite significant.

"The record before that – 100 Broken Windows – actually broke us into the mainstream, if you want to call it that, but The Remote Part really took us to a different place."

Had it not been for the two biggest bands in the world at that time releasing albums a week or two earlier, Idlewild might just have bagged the #1 spot for The Report Part. It was the highest new entry that week, but wasn't able to dethrone The Red Hot Chili Peppers' By The Way, which had overtaken Oasis' Heathen Chemistry the week before.

Still, there it sat, third in the UK charts, among accomplished company, as a proud testament to the approach the band took during the writing process.

"The Remote Part was a mixture of all the things that people liked about Idlewild," Woomble looks back. "We were essentially a punk rock band when we started out. A lot of people really liked that aspect of the band when we played live, we were sort of known for more exciting concerts and the records acted as a flier for the gig. Gradually, we start to move away from that, but we realised that it was part of the appeal of the band.

"We knew early on that we had real capabilities to come up with some really great melodies. I was always really interested in melody and harmony and interesting lyrics.

"For The Remote Part, we wanted to have all the riffs and the chaos, but meld that with the newer sound that we were developing – something aligned with, maybe, anthemic rock. I think that's what we achieved with the album, there is a real balance there."

The singer continues: "Broken Windows, the album before it, was more indie rock – and, so, not quite as palatable for some people. And for the album after it, Warnings/Promises, we took it further down the route of harmonies and melodies, acoustic guitars and things like that. The latter opened us up to a new audience, but I think we might have lost a few fans, the ones that wanted us to still be in a rock band.

"So, The Remote Part sits amongst all that, and because of that, it is the album that rises above the others.

The band had been in a transition phase. On one hand, they were jostling to retain that energetic youth that got them to where they were; while on the other hand, they were cautiously eyeing a new way ahead, with new opportunities and new ways to express themselves.

The conflict is prevalent throughout The Remote Part – not just in the sonic diversity of the tracks but the lyrical content as well. It is an insight into the mindset of the band members as they wade through the latter stages of their youth to a calming maturity.

Woomble feels that conflict had been simmering below the surface for a while, with the band being pulled in a number of directions well before The Remote Part had come to fruition.

"Any album is a document of the band or musician in that point in their life," he says. "It could be anything – a year, a few years, five months. There was so much happening for us then, and The Remote Part was the result of that.

"Broken Windows became popular in the US college rock scene and we found ourselves touring America quite a lot. It's weird that we were seen as a cool college rock band, whereas in the UK our label was keen for us to be one of those Coldplay-esque mainstream bands.

"So, we had a bit of an identity crisis going on. We were comfortable being a college rock band or an indie rock band, but we also saw the potential in the other songs we were writing – and there was a great deal of enthusiasm for the record company over those, they were telling us they could be hits.

"We were a little conflicted in that sense, but we went with our instincts and made a record that was a bit of a combination. I think it's a really good collection of songs. It all works together like really good albums do; one song leads into the next, giving context to the next song and flows.

"It has a lot of variety and that was partly due to the band getting better but still being young enough to have that desire to be as creative as we could with our abilities."

He continues: "It's an introspective record – it's an album about being young, I suppose. If there is one theme throughout then it is a reflection of being young, of moving forward through life and coming to terms with that sort of thing. And the title, the cover and the lyrics all deal with that.

"I'm 45 now and it seems absurd to think that I was 25 I was making The Remote Part. It's funny looking back. I think I was definitely old before my time – I feel younger now than when I did at 25."

The Remote Part is an album that resonates with so many. A soundtrack to the early 00s, it enjoys a lasting legacy. Idlewild took the record out for a 15th anniversary run of shows a few years back, selling out two nights in Glasgow and a date in London.

And with the 20th around the corner, the notion raised its head again. This time the shows will be both bigger and smaller as the band cover some familiar ground.

"I hadn't been one for anniversary things," Woomble admits. "But, at the same time, I recognise that they have a different appeal than normal shows. I've been to a few and it really does feel different.

"Going back and playing records makes for a totally different concert because people are bringing all their memories about that album. And playing it in sequence– people react in a totally different way than if you were doing a set of mixed-up songs from different records. It's a specific experience – it's like a celebration, being there with all the people that this album means something to.

"We did a few for the 15th anniversary. We were just going to do one show in Glasgow, but it sold out so quickly that added another night and then had to do a London show. For the 20th, we knew we were playing Connect so we thought we'd do a few shows around then. We played there in 2007 and we thought it was a brilliant festival. It's really good to go and play it again and to play this record there.

The following week, we'll be going up to Sutherland in the Highlands – very close to where we wrote it – to play Ullapool Village Hall. So, we get to take the songs back to where they were written."

Idlewild perform The Remote Part at the Connect Music Festival, which takes place at The Royal Highland Centre from August 26-28.

Other acts to appear over the three days include IDLES, The Chemical Brothers, The Twilight Sad, The National, Mogwai, Bombay Bicycle Club, Admiral Fallow, Swim School, Lizzie Reid, Cloth and more.

For ticket information, visit https://connectmusicfestival.com/tickets