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Belle & Sebastian BBC Radio Scotland Live Session

Available on iplayer until March 4th. Includes songs off the new album and chat from Stuart Murdoch. Worth a look for any fan of the band. That is all.

Great music but his voice really gets on my tits after a few songs. Hasn't hampered them any though has it?
Late Doors

They've had a bit of a rest these last couple of years i think and come back with a well reviewed album that ill get sooner or later. Off to see em at the Town Hall in May (LS not HD)

Late Doors wrote:
They've had a bit of a rest these last couple of years i think and come back with a well reviewed album that ill get sooner or later. Off to see em at the Town Hall in May (LS not HD)

smiling badger

Their keyboard player once worked in the local co-op where i lived as a k id. He was also in a mate of mines band. They were awfull so its good to see he has done good since.
Quite a nice fella with a bit of a lisp if i remember rightly..
Late Doors

Leeds Town Hall

Very welcome return for this special band. I remember they looked and sounded tired the last time i saw them and feared for them. Clearly the long rest has revitalised them as the recent album testifies. A little more electro than usual it's still bursting with classic Belle n Seb hooks lines and evocative melodic prose.

They are one of the bands both MrsD and I love and have been around longer than we have. Of course me being the coolest hipster of this union i introduced them to her way back in 97 and they've become a sort of soundtrack for us. But who could not love this band? The odd weirdo of course but their witty mischievous lyrics whose dark side are chaperoned with beautiful flowing melody are a joy in themselves. The songs, tunes, call them whatever are waves of audible treasure. Instantly recognised as Belle n Seb they have a simpleness that belies their craft and a fantastic way of being retro in a very contemporary way. A homage to the sixties through the gift of a retrospective understanding of them. They keep that new age feel of the era and plunge it into our current world to create a kind of longing. They connect now with then because their themes and spirit are timeless.

If it is a longing it's not just my generation's. We were amongst the oldest there but i guess there were three generations at the magnificent Leeds Town Hall. A fair share of the crowd were not even born when Belle and Sebastian were. Some were in the Vic conveniently situated behind the town hall and what a splendid pre cursor to the venue and gig the pubs classic  old empire decor is.

We were right at the back of the gallery seating area but there is not a poor seat in the house. We didn't see the support band but the back drop video played an evocative 1960s promotional film for the city of Glasgow. It was perfect, the film's enthusiastic heralding in of high rise flats and flyovers to an audience enlightened with hindsight representing the band brilliantly.

On they came, all 12 or so of them including five or six string players. Stuart clearly loves playing Leeds but i suspect he just loves playing. His stage manner is warm and beguiling and the rest of the band spin off his centre stage charm.

The set started with two off the new album. We've been playing it for weeks so are quite familiar with them. So too are the rest of the crowd especially the adoring throng at the front. The opener and new album opener Nobodies' Empire's ruefully nostalgic theme was enhanced even more by the imagery of the backdrop. This isn't a band that need props though. Their openness speaks for itself.

The set centres around the new album but old favourites from their immense repertoire are thrown in and amongst. Jeez it was nineteen years ago since their first album Tigermilk. It is something to me that still sounds new but in fact older than a considerable element of the crowd. The state i am in off it fills the place with joy including me n MrsD.
Stu's voice occasionally cracks, he too is getting older. Other members  get their turn. The whole thing is a democratic collective that together produces melodic magnificence.

Stu says some nice things about the town hall but doesn't understand what Loiner is as he asks  the crowd what people from Leeds are called. Neither do some Leeds people it seems which is a shame. He is a great live communicator and the crowd respond especially as he invites a mini stage invasion for a dancealong to Arab Strap one of the finest pop singles of all time in my opinion. I've seen it before but it still fills me with heart warming glee hearing it and seeing it live. The dancers remind me of a youth club or the school disco as they rhythmically shuffle to the songs gay abandon and i mean that in the old fashioned sense of the phrase.

Sideman Stevie sings his breaking up song with a little bitterness but announces he is alright but his role is in cementing it all together with fabulous rhythm guitar.

Yes indeed, Belle and Seb are back with us and I am very very glad about that.

Introduced to their music by my daughter. 'You'll like this'.

Tend to think of them as Scottish Super Furry Animals.

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