Belle And Sebastian
The Uptown ShufflersEdit this event
Only Belle and Sebastian would have a random gig in Dunoon, with an old-style Dixieland jazz band opening for them!
Belle and Sebastian are coming back out into the public eye with a new single and a little Scottish tour, and they seem to be very happy with their return to activity. The public is too, seeing as all the presale tickets for the shows have been sold out (including all tickets for the two Glasgow shows) and the only hope of seeing them was to go to Dunoon and hope for the best. We arrived in plenty of time, and were only the second group of people in line for tickets on the door. The venue was a large dance-hall type place with a stage, that vaguely reminded me of the gym at my high school. I was thrilled when I saw the Uptown Shufflers take the stage--that's the music I grew up on. My dad plays banjo in numerous bands just like the Shufflers, my mom sings with some of my dad's bands, and even I sing with them sometimes. Very nostalgic, and as I'm currently living 3000 miles from home (Minneapolis, MN) it was a most welcome dose of homey comfort. The rest of the crowd seemed to appreciate them too, because they hooted and hollered and cheered the guys as they took solos and sang. The uptown Shufflers were altogether enjoyable. There is so much skill involved in playing that kind of music, but their talent levels made it all look easy. Yay Uptown Shufflers!
Belle and Sebastian were as good as I hoped they'd be. I l love their style of music, very sing-along-to, based around classical and pop structures but with these sneaky emotive, evocative, and twisted lyrics. I really go in for lyrics--and they really are brilliant with them.
They're a veritable rock orchestra--at any given time there were about 14 people on stage playing instruments. A few times it was a bit of a distraction, just too much aural stimulation from too many sides--with the added visual distraction of all these people shuffling around. But the big numbers effectively paved the way for the quieter songs to be noticed and all the more striking. Belle and Sebastian have a very good knack for building a song, especially when they start with just Stuart Murdoch's vocals and some piano. When the other pieces gradually add on it can grow into a beautifully complex, well-crafted composition, rather than just a song. I was just as happy as I hoped I'd be. Music is a lot like food for me. When I'm hungry and I think of something I really really want to eat, I'll build it all up in my head thinking about how good it will be and sometimes it's bad, and it's like a blow to my spirit. I get really disgruntled and flustered when things aren't what I wanted and I wanted them so much. Belle and Sebastian lived up to my hungry hopes for a good gig with good music.
Everyone had to ride the same ferry back from a town down the road from Dunoon (Dunoon's ferries stopped about an hour into the show), so we all ended up waiting in line with the band. Some of them were on foot in line behind us, and when the ferryman called them to embark, Stuart stayed back because he was too polite to jump the queue... and then the ferry closed gates and left! The poor man was stuck waiting with us and about 15 other people for a half hour until the ferry came back. Luckily the drummer Richard was in his car and also missed the first boat otherwise Stuart would've been stranded 2 miles fom Gourock on the other side. That's what happened to us--the least pleasant aspect of the night was walking for 3/4 of an hour in the cold and then having to pay £30 for a taxi from Gourock to Glasgow. But It was worth it to have missed the ferry with Stuart and Richard--they were quite entertaining to talk to. Stuart also gave me some chips and salsa after I cheekily asked him outright if he had any food. I was so hungry I didn't think about what I was saying, then I realized later it was a bit rude! So Stuart, if you're out there, I apologize for being so cheeky, but thanks very much! Aw well, I got some food and I was happy. :)
My friend Sarah was visiting from Minneapolis, where we have a strong Belle and Sebastian following, especially amongst the local musicians. We're really excited to have some bragging material with our friends back there, including celebrity food, talking to members of the band, and even getting to see them play at all since they don't tour to the Midwest of America just yet. All in all, very good experience and let's hope they keep it up and I can see them again soon!
- "It felt like being a teenager again" - DiS meets Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian
- Singles of the Year 2011!
- Spotifriday #100 featuring Electrelane, Iceage, The National + more
- This Week's Singles: 18/07/11 Wilco, PJ Harvey, Joanna Newsom, Belle & Sebastian
- In Photos: Primavera Sound Festival 2011 @ Parc del Forum, Barcelona
- Stuart Murdoch - The Celestial Café
- The Celestial Café : DiS meets Stuart Murdoch
- This Week's Singles: 17/01/11