Belle and Sebastian – Westminster Central Hall

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Why this gig?

I was relatively late to discover Belle and Sebastian. I remember loving “Lazy Line Painter Jane” on the John Peel tribute album, but it wasn’t until the Juno soundtrack that I realised just how much I loved them. For some reason I assumed they had split up and got on with listening to as much as possible of their old material. I was therefore really happy when Write About Love was released in 2010. I wanted to see them on that tour, but they played London when I was out of town. There was no chance of me missing this next chance to see them.

Support

Support was Dum Dum Girls. I really wanted to like them, but I couldn’t see anything to engage my enthusiasm.

Headline

I’m actually having trouble working out what to write here. It was every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be, but I can’t work out how to put it into words.

They came on, they played a load of great songs really well and everyone in the audience had a great time.

I don’t really know what it is that made it such a great night.

The band obviously have a great relationship with their audience. At one point Stuart Murdoch called up a couple to join him on stage. Apparently the woman had bought the tickets as a surprise for her boyfriend. But she gave the secret away by talking in her sleep. So he got in touch with the band who liked the story so much that they agreed to invite them onto the stage so the boyfriend could propose in front of an audience of Belle and Sebastian fans. While the band played “Piazza, New York Catcher”.

Yes, that sounds naff. But Belle and Sebastian project this anti-naff bubble which means that everyone who was there thought it was all wonderfully romantic.

At another point, another woman was pulled out of the audience to dance on stage to “Jonathan David”. And towards the end of the show, a large number of people were invited to join the band dancing to “The Boy With The Arab Strap”.

It was that kind of night. And it was wonderful.

The set list is on setlist.fm (and have a look at the set list from the following night at the same venue – which is almost completely different).

Review

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