Fulfilling a long-held wish is so damn satisfying. Back in April, on a warm spring day, I finally got to see a full length Belle and Sebastian gig (as opposed to the short festival set I saw last year at Zurich OpenAir). No matter that Belle and Sebastian have been around for years now, and none of us (band or fans) are young hipsters anymore (or perhaps ever were) – I still adore them.
But first, I had to suffer through support band Schwervon! (their exclamation, not mine). Sorry, but not my cup of tea. Shrill lo-fi anecdotal ramblings, irritating rather than quirky.
But all traces of vexation quickly dissipate when Stuart Murdoch and his band of merry men and women take the stage. Gentle, melodic and at times bouncy indie pop, so saturated with nostalgia for me that I can barely stand it. God, the 90`s!
The set begins with 1996`s ‘The State I Am In’, and then breezes through ‘Dirty Dream Number Two’, ‘Write About Love’, ‘I’m Not Living In The Real World’, ‘Sukie In The Graveyard’, and the beautiful, tender ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’, before ‘Lord Anthony‘, complete with make-up session:
Aww, Stuart and his penchant for make-up. Like last year, he gets a few girls up on stage for a danceathon during ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap‘, and very charmingly can’t seem to bring himself to sing ‘…your ten biggest wanks…’ because of the ladies present. Such lovely manners. At the end they are awarded with gold medals for their enthusiastic participation. Stuart is quite the chatty chap, telling us how he has been riding around Zurich all day on the trams, of which there are so many, and all for free! – well, at least he didn’t pay anything (let’s hope there isn’t a ZVV rep in the audience)…
The evening ends on an encore of ‘The Blues Are Still Blue’ and finally, a memorable ‘Judy And The Dream Of Horses‘, which is so jaunty, carefree and all-out poppy that I float out of X-Tra on wave of happy delirium, the perfect note on which to end the evening.
Many thanks to the lovely Barbara Graf Horka for the use of her awesome photos.