At last, at last. Postponed from 14 December 2010 due to Stuart Murdoch having a cold, the Leicester crowd had literally waited nearly 6 months for this http://www.belleandsebastian.com/ gig to happen. We really really wanted it to happen. Nottingham's The Soundcarriers struck a fine note of Stereolab-inspired 1969 California Psych-Pop...
but bless 'em, on a hot Friday evening nearly EVERYONE was outside enjoying the sun and waiting for Belle and Sebastian to arrive.
Thank goodness it was last night, as I have had "I want the World to Stop" stuck in my head on a loop for an age!
It was a deja vu moment in some ways for Neil and I, as Belle and Sebastian were a key reason why we found our beloved Summer Sundae festival: B&S headlined in 2006 and utterly charmed us.
The setlist was a beautiful mix of old - very old - and new, with something from near every period of their work. Ending on "Judy and the dream of horses", old skool fans were especially chuffed and there were enough foot-stomping favourites like "The Boy with the Arab Strap" to keep more casual fans happy. Stuart was in fine camp form with his dancing, his hat and his appearance singing on the balconied area (though he didn't do a Monotonix!)
Stuart is such a consummate performer, even doing his usual bit to get some people on stage dancing...
...complete with 'awards' for their on-stage contributions ('Bungle' got an especially big cheer)
Seeing B&S is always such a joyous experience, even though - obviously - if you listen to the lyrics they are frequently sharp, disturbing and tart. Brilliant.
And it was especially lovely to see Stevie - and his glasses - getting a good amount of attention ("The Wrong Girl", "Step into my office, baby" --- and by no means least his rendition of Showaddywaddy's "Under the Moon of Love" as Stuart jested that the band usually like to play a cover song of a local band's tune).
Overall a delightful experience with strings and more to support their lush collection of songs. Perfect for a summer evening!