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Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian

Simon had free tickets, so we went to the B&S gig at the Astoria. Heard their first album in Berlin, years ago. But to be honest, didn’t recognise a single song which didn’t really matter.

Gigging is so great. It’s much more alive and satisfying than going to the theatre and concert hall these day. People who go to gigs really want to be there. I have the impression most theatre-goers would rather be somewhere else and only dragged themselves out because the Guardian Guide told them to.

The Astoria was full of fun people. Giggers all care a lot about what they wear but are so individualistic that ever one is sui generis. Which conequently relieves all fashion fear since whatever you’ve slung on is going to look like a statement of your individuality. Also there’s a particular kind of intense-looking 20 year old male that stares devotedly at the stage which I find totally endearing and not a little sexy.

Belle & Sebastian aren’t really my bag – instinctively. They’re a little fey. Like Teenage Fanclub and Sterolab. But after a little twitch of disapproval I got sucked up by the irresistable power of watching a live band.

It’s like getting sucked into a narrative. You start to watch the lead singer and then how he reacts to the guitarist. You see a smile from the keyboard player and wonder what that was about. Then there’s a joke the band share with the audience and suddenly you’re wrapped up in a web of relationships – all meshed around this wonderful act of standing on stage and singing.

Of course, by the end, I loved them all and let myself be completely embraced by the surround-sound crowd of fans, who knew all of the razor-sharp lyrics. And naturally, I left wanting to be in a band. Again.

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