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The Comedy of Errors

Interview: Belle and Sebastian

1 December 06 words: Paul Klotschkow

"I’ve played at The Social four or five times, I even played there with Snow Patrol a few years back and I did a gig with the Reindeer Section too"

Hello Richard, how are you?
Hi, I’m good thanks!
Where are you?
I’m currently at home, which is a small fishing village just south of St Andrews. I’ve lived here for about eight years.
Have you been up to much recently?
I was visiting a friend up in Glasgow last night. So I just did the drive back down today.
Belle and Sebastian have been a bit quiet since the summer. What have you been doing?
The band finished touring the album (The Life Pursuit released in February) in September, the tour finished over in Japan. It is likely that we won’t be doing anything until January, we are taking a well earned rest. We don’t have any new songs yet. But people in the band are always thinking about the next album. There are probably a few demos of new songs, but we haven’t talked about recording yet.
You’re coming down to The Social on 15 December to do a DJ set. What can we expect?
Me and Chris from the band are coming down, we’ve DJed a few times together before and its always fun. When I DJ I like to spread genres, mix it up a bit but still get people dancing. Chris DJs more than me, I have periods when I DJ loads then periods when I don’t do anything, which could be anything up to a year.
Do you know Nottingham well?
Yeah, I’ve been to Nottingham a few times in the past and from what I can remember it is always good. I’ve played at The Social four or five times, I even played there with Snow Patrol a few years back and I did a gig with the Reindeer Section too. I don’t think we will hear anything new from the Reindeer Section in the near future, Gary (Lightbody) is too busy with Snow Patrol at the moment. I’m sure he wants to get round to doing something with the Reindeer Section eventually, but right now he just doesn’t have the time.
It’s going to be Christmas soon. What has been the worst Christmas present that you have ever received?
A few years back I got a pretty random present. I got a metal detector of all things, I’ve never used it… it’s still in its box. It seems a hassle to get it out and use it. I would need to go to a beach, take a spade to dig up the sand. It’s all too much effort…
Avoiding metal detectors, what would you like to get this year for Christmas?
I’ve just recently started to get into cooking, so some cookery books would be nice. Do I have a speciality? No, no speciality as yet, but I have been baking a lot of bread. It is pretty easy to experiment with, baking different types of bread, which is fun.
Belle and Sebastian played the world renowned Hollywood Bowl in the summer backed by an orchestra. That must have been a great experience?
Oh yes, it was an extraordinary experience. It was the craziest, most brilliant gig I have ever played. We played it in front of 18,000 fans with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. To have an orchestra behind me while I was drumming felt really powerful. It is something I will never forget! Plus to play at the Hollywood Bowl, which is such a prestigious venue, is a real honour.
What are your other outstanding gig memories?
Loads of gigs have been great, you know? When we first did Top of the Pops that was pretty special, just because it was a television institution and we were pretty unknown at the time. The first Glastonbury we did was great, but Glastonbury always is, as was the first Benicassim festival that we did. It is nice to go to a festival and have good weather. We also once played a festival down in Brazil. Thich was another great experience as it is not somewhere you get the chance to play often.
Have Belle and Sebastian had any really terrible gigs?
Not that many have been rubbish. There are a couple. One of them was when Isabelle (Campbell) was still in the band. She had been feeling ill and just as the support band finished she got worse and was unable to play. So Chris had to go on in front on the audience who had been waiting there all night for us and apologise for the band cancelling the gig. Then we went to Germany once to a festival and it was the most ramshackle festival I have ever seen… it wasn’t fun at all. 
Do you have any messages for the LeftLion readers?
Yeah, Nottingham is a great place and just always make sure to have a good time. I hope that when we come down to DJ at The Social on 15 December, we pick the right tunes and that everyone enjoys it. 

Belle and Sebastian play at the Social on Friday 15 December 2006. 


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