Belle & Sebastian – Brighton Dome – 15th March 2018
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Belle & Sebastian – Brighton Dome – 15th March 2018

Belle & Sebastian – Brighton Dome – 15th March 2018

For a band that tours relentlessly, it’s fairly surprising that Belle & Sebastian hadn’t graced a stage in Brighton for 12 years. A fact that frontman Stuart Murdoch was quick to point out, “I can’t believe it’s been that long since we’ve been in your fine city.”

In between song chat such as this was a feature of the night, with the Glaswegians happy to roll out funny and interesting anecdotes to the crowd. A Belle & Sebastian show is always an inclusive event and Murdoch is the king of making his fans feel involved in the overall structure of the evening. He even made his way up to the top tier of the Dome at one point, replicating a stunt he pulled in the band’s previous appearance at the venue.

‘Nobody’s Empire’s exploration of the singer’s previous illness kicked things off in sombre fashion before the recent 'We Were Beautiful' brought a fizz back to proceedings in what was a set list that truly covered each area of the band’s long, critically-acclaimed back catalogue. This included the likes of ‘She's Losing It' from Tigermilk and ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’ from Dear Catastrophe Waitress. The latter, Murdoch pointed out in elongated fashion, being about the romantic origins of the relationship with his wife. Anorak fans were also treated to cuts such as ‘I Know Where the Summer Goes’ from an early EP which rarely gets a live showing.

Belle & Sebastian are very much a seven-piece beast though and ‘The Same Star’ exemplified this as backing singer and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Martin took over lead vocal duties to beautiful effect. Guitarist Stevie Jackson was then handed the reigns for ‘The Wrong Girl.’

The Scottish band saved the majority of their ‘classics’ to the end of the evening, however, with the irresistible 'Sukie in the Graveyard' beginning the final five song assault in intoxicating fashion. Following this, I was confused to see three audience members shoot right past me to the side of the stage as the opening notes were struck of ‘The Boy With the Arab Strap’. It soon became clear why, as no less than 30 members of the crowd made their way to the stage for arguably the band’s most famous song. Seasoned fans will be familiar with this crowd-pleasing tactic and it really is heart warming to witness dozens of beaming faces dance along on stage.

The Scots then came out for a moving encore of recent disco banger ‘The Party Line’ before ‘I’m A Cuckoo’s outrageously catchy opening guitar riff drew the biggest reaction of the night. The crowd will be hoping that it isn’t 12 years before they’re able to witness it again.

Paul Hill

Website: belleandsebastian.com
Facebook: facebook.com/belleandsebastian
Twitter: twitter.com/bellesglasgow

 


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