button Belle and Sebastian
@ Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball (3rd Jun '06)

An Early Summer Night's Dream

Belle and Sebastian
      Belle and Sebastian helped almost 2,000 fans usher in summer on a high note. Playing to a capacity crowd at the spacious Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball, the Scottish eight-piece's sunny, feel-good melodies put smiles on the faces of all in attendance.

Belle and Sebastian      With the stage lights on, one by one the band emerged shortly after 7 pm. Lead singer and guitarist Stuart Murdoch commented about the early start time and how large the crowd was before beginning with "The Stars Of Track And Field" from 1996's stellar If You're Feeling Sinister.

      The charismatic Murdoch was extremely chatty between songs, telling tales about B&S's football wins over the local media, bantering back and forth with boisterous attendees, and continually gauging the crowd's mood to ensure that everyone was enjoying themselves. "Are you chilled out, or do you want to dance?" he inquired early in the set. Amidst cries of both answers, he decided to compromise, "This one is sort of in-between, but we'll play some dancey ones for you later," as the rest of the band broke into "Another Sunny Day" from this year's The Life Pursuit.

Belle and Sebastian      Despite all the talking, spectators remained dead silent while B&S were performing, quietly swaying and occasionally dancing to the band's upbeat, folky chamber-pop. A mix of Japanese and foreigners, attendees ranged from 10-year-old children to middle-aged salarymen and homemakers.

      Extremely relaxed onstage, B&S seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. Switching instruments between tracks, each member tried their hand at a variety of musical tools, filling the venue with wonderful, warm sounds. Murdoch and guitarist Stevie Jackson also showed off their fine dancing skills whenever the opportunity arose. Clad in a suit and tie, Jackson even broke out some robot-esque moves during "Electronic Renaissance."

Belle and Sebastian      The highlight of the concert came when Murdoch and Jackson tried to find a female to join them during "Jonathan David." After selecting a lucky young woman from the crowd, a male friend of hers quickly jumped up and followed her. The two musicians were perplexed by the predicament with Murdoch attempting to explain the situation to the overzealous Japanese male. "This song is about two boys in love with a girl, but this complicates things. The three of us are going to have an affair. You can watch or videotape." Not taking the hint, Murdoch eventually moved the fan over to the area in front of the keyboards and gave him a shaker to occupy him.

Belle and Sebastian      With everyone laughing at the situation, the group started playing while the two men took turns whisking their new lady friend away for a quick dance while the other was singing. The light-hearted number went over well with the audience applauding the efforts of the girl and her male counterpart who was shaking his instrument with a huge grin on his face. With things winding down, the woman pulled her friend into the middle of the menage a trois to gleefully jump around with her before they ran offstage together. Dejected by the fact that they both lost the girl, Jackson chimed in with "That smooth operator stole her from both of us."

      If it's any solace to Jackson and the rest of the band, summer is just beginning and B&S's excellent music is bound to help others get lucky in love over the coming months.
Belle and Sebastian

report by shawn and photos by izumikuma

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The official site

Belle and Sebastian


check 'em?-->Belle and Sebastian

The latest album

Bell and Sebastian
"The Life Pursuit"
(来日記念DVD付き限定国内盤 / 国内盤 / US import / UK import)

The latest mini album

Bell and Sebastian
(Japan only 4 tracks with 2 videos)

The latest single

Bell and Sebastian
"White Collar Boy"
(UK import)

Bell and Sebastian
"Fans Only"

(US import / 国内盤)
previous works

Bell and Sebastian
"Push Barman to Open Old Wounds (The Best of)"
(US import / UK impport / 国内盤)

"The Blues Are Still Blue"(UK import / Japan only 4 tracks with 2 videos)
"Late Night Tales" (UK import)
"ファニー・リトル・フロッグ" (国内盤)
"フルキズ・ソングス~アーリー・シングルス・コレクション" (限定盤)
"Step into My Office, Baby"(US import / UK import / 国内盤)
"Books"(US import / UK import / 国内盤)
"I'm a Cuckoo"(国内盤)
"Dear Catastrophe Waitress"(UK impport / 国内盤)
"Storytelling"(UK import / 国内盤 / Belle and Sebastian - ストーリーテリング)
"ディス・イズ・ジャスト・ア・モダン・ロック・ソング"( Belle and Sebastian - ディス・イズ・ジャスト・ア・モダン・ロック・ソング - EP)
"3..6..9 Seconds of Light"(Belle and Sebastian - 3..6..9 Seconds of Light - EP)
"ウェイキング・アップ・トゥ・アス"(Belle and Sebastian - ウェイキング・アップ・トゥ・アス - EP)
"Jonathan David"(UK import / Belle and Sebastian - ジョナサン:デイヴィッド - EP)
"ドッグ・オン・ホイールズ"(国内盤 / Belle and Sebastian - ドッグ・オン・ホイールズ - EP)
" レイジー・ライン - ペインター・ジェイン"( Belle and Sebastian - レイジー・ライン - ペインター・ジェイン - EP)
"Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant" - 私のなかの悪魔 : US import / UK import / 国内盤 / Belle and Sebastian - わたしのなかの悪魔)
"Tigermilk" - タイガーミルク (US import / UK import / 国内盤)
"If You're Feeling Sinister"(US import)
"The Boy With The Arab Strap"(国内盤 / US import / UK import)
..and more

check the albums?


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無断転載を禁じます。The copyright of the article belongs to Shawn Despres and the same of the photos belongs to Izumi Kumazawa. They may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.counter
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