Monday, August 28, 2006

Orchestral Indie Pop Scenesters who Adore Such Labels,

Despite being moody, I had a great time at the Belle & Sebastian TontheFringe gig and so too did the hundreds of people who had queued along Princes Street, each hoping to secure a prime spot in front of the stage in Gardens. We were lucky; we were directed to a secret, special queue that moved quick enough to allow us to take up a spot on the terracing quite close to the bandstand. Hundreds of people never made it that far, they watched from behind hedges, the slopes of the gardens or the paths that were part of the queues that they had never left.

Camera Obscura were playing in support. They ploughed through the tracks from their excellent Let’s Get Out of This Country album. They went down really well with some sections of the crowd, whilst some sections weren’t interested, which surprised me. Old favourites like Teenager and Eighties Fan made welcome appearances but perhaps the slower songs from the new album, like Dory Previn, didn’t suit the outdoor environment. If Looks Could Kill was a corker and they ended in spectacular fashion with their Razzle Dazzle Rose racket, for as great as Belle & Sebastian turned out to be, I went home with these two tunes in my head.

Belle & Sebastian fans are an odd bunch; some are so fickle that they refuse to accept that very little ever existed after If You’re Feeling Sinister – they would have been delighted with last night’s gig. After opening with Another Sunny Day, they churned out a host of oldies including Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie, A Summer Wasting, Dirty Dream Number Two and my favourite, Dog on Wheels. Stuart was certainly in the mood for mucking about last night, he grabbed a wind-up camera from a camera man (with equipment like that, it’s a wonder they ever got they job) and proceeded to shoot the crowd and band, he waded into the crowd to have make-up applied for Lord Anthony and then he dragged a girl onto the stage to act out the story of Jonathan David – it was all very amusing. Stevie also got to do his The Wrong Girl song. It was a great gig in a really nice setting - the castle in the background, the weather staying fine, the nice gardens, planes overhead - I couldn’t help but gaze around half the time. They finished up with the much-requested Judy and the Dream of Horses, before emerging for an encore of Me and the Major and the ad hoc Lazy Line Painter Jane, for which Stuart put out an appeal to Monica Queen to come to the stage. After persuading the police that she was indeed, Monica was allowed through to help the gang close the night with a belter.


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