Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1996) (1 Viewer)

Unknown Convict

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Lol!

Yeah I can't quite describe it. Sadness isn't quite accurate, more of a bittersweet thing. Like nostalgia or something.
i can be as nostalgic as the next guy, but to me, summer is 100% positive: living in the moment and the promise of tomorrow; flowers in the fields; making memories for my kids; orchestra baobab; sand between my toes; long, bright evenings; cooking, eating and drinking outdoors; augustus pablo... what's not to love?
 

Jim Daniels

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i can be as nostalgic as the next guy, but to me, summer is 100% positive: living in the moment and the promise of tomorrow; flowers in the fields; making memories for my kids; orchestra baobab; sand between my toes; long, bright evenings; cooking, eating and drinking outdoors; augustus pablo... what's not to love?
Can't argue with that (y)
 

travispickle

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The only full B+S album I ownded was Boy with the Arab Strap and the Push Barman comp.
Gave this one a first listen last night and well, meh all round but maybe it's a grower. They're certainly a better singles/ep's band than an album band, imo.
Murdoch has written some great tunes though and I have some favourites without a doubt ( century of fakers, for example) but so far I'm not hearing anything on here near that quality yet.

I'm enjoying the sunshine though.
 

Benny Cake

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i can be as nostalgic as the next guy, but to me, summer is 100% positive: living in the moment and the promise of tomorrow; flowers in the fields; making memories for my kids; orchestra baobab; sand between my toes; long, bright evenings; cooking, eating and drinking outdoors; augustus pablo... what's not to love?
All good, just don't ruin it with Bellend Sebastien

 

rettucs

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H8Rs gonna hate

I really don't get the amount of hatred out there for Belle and Sebastian. I suppose its because they are a massively popular band, and for every person who likes them, theres someone who hates them - for balance, like.

Is there anyone anywhere who just thinks they're ok?

They're a ridiculously inoffensive band. And using this as a reason to hate them? That does not wash. Its like saying you hate someone cos they're too nice.

Anyway, haters, do your worst. I couldn't give a fuck. I love Belle and Sebastian. They're probably my favorite band (that are still actively making music), and have been for the last 10 years or so.

My introduction to them came late enough. I was given a copy of the Lazy Line Painter Jane EPs in the early 2000s. At the time they were a band that had been on my 'to-do' list for quite a while. Other than 'Legal Man' they weren't really the types to have gotten much by way of airplay. Those EPs are fantastic though. I was absolutely blown away by them. That was Belle and Sebastian at their absolute peak IMO. Someone else mentioned that they were never really an album band, but always had great singles. I take that point, and I understand where it comes from, and while I'd agree that the singles (particularly early on) were stronger than their album output, the albums are still great.

And they had this very unique thing whereby their singles would not appear on any album. I don't know of any other band who does that (except Oasis, maybe, with 'Whatever'). It made Belle and Sebastian fans remain diligent - it wasn't enough to just have the albums. You needed to buy the singles, and listen to the extra tracks on them because almost all of them weren't to be found on any album, and they were all great.

Their more recent albums have been patchy enough. And I wonder if that colours some of the opinion when looking back at the earlier stuff. The last album (Girls in Peacetime) was not good, really. 'Write About Love' had some great moments, but its a bit of a chore to listen to from start to finish, and 'The Life Pursuit' never really did much for me (though curiously, I loved the offshoot album around this time - God Help The Girl - from the movie of the same name, which is also great, and which is also the first movie I've ever had my name in the credits of - god bless crowdfunding).

From 'Dear Catastrophe Waitress' back, the quality is fantastic. And, yes, Storytelling is unusual, but I still love it.

And lets not forget that B+S lost 2 of their most influential members early enough in their lifetime. These were also my 2 favourite members of the band (even though both had long left by the time I got into them), Isobel Campbell and Stuart David. Thankfully, both went onto have interesting (and wonderful, IMO) solo careers.

Its a regret that I didn't get on board until shortly after that 'infamous' gig in the olympia that took place shortly after Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell, until then a couple, broke up. Clearly not in the best of form, as evidenced by him smashing his guitar and storming off stage after about 40 minutes, not to return.

It was a prickish thing to do, regardless of how shit he was feeling. People had paid money to see them, so deserved a show. But, I was at the next gig in the Ambassador where he apologised profusely for what had happened, albeit 5 years or so later.

Those Ambassador gigs, to this day, remain a highlight of my gig-going career. It was just before The Life Pursuit came out (but a while after it had leaked - to which they joked about) They played 2 nights. I went to both. And the sets they played on either night only had 1 song in common (Funny Little Frog). This was pretty amazing, all things considered. I've done that before where I've gone to see a band play 2 nights in a row (most recently, Sufjan Stevens in the Helix), and I've never seen such a drastic set-change. And, they played my favourite song of theirs (and one of my favourite songs ever - Le Pastie de La Bourgouise).

The problem with those gigs being so great was that they were unlikely to ever be topped. I've seen them twice more since, and though both good gigs, they weren't a patch on those Ambassador shows.

I've seen members of B+S pop up here and there at other gigs too. Isobel Campbell played here twice - after her albums with Mark Lanegan - with Eugene Kelly from the Vaselines filling in for Lanegan, at the Sugar Club (great), and the Village (not great). It was fantastic to see her, after being such a fanboy for so long.

And Steve Jackson, Richard Colburn and Bobby Kildea played here with the Vaselines in Whelans a few years ago. Also great. (@GO played support that night).

'If You're Feeling Sinister' is generally regarded as B+S's best album. Its hard to argue, and though I had this on my list for Album Club, I'd waiver between a couple of different albums, thinking them my favourite. I think there are songs on some of the other albums that are better than anything on this, but the albums they'd be on wouldn't stand up overall.

What I like about this one is that its mostly just catchy little toe-tapping numbers. Theres less of the maudlin stuff than you'd find on other albums (such as 'Fold Your Arms', which is just depressing at times). The songs are a combination of love songs, random stories, and a dig or 2 at organised religion (and shur why not).

My main gripe with the album (but only with the hindsight of knowing later albums) is that Murdoch stays out front on every song. I'm not a big fan of Stevie Jackson's songs, but I adore the stuff that Stuart David and Isobel Campbell write/sing on. There isn't any of that here. This is Murdoch's album. And don't get me wrong, I love Murdoch and pretty much everything he's done, but part of the appeal of B+S to me is the variety they offer by alternating song-writers and vocalists (like Teenage Fanclub do).

Of the 10 songs on here, take out 'Fox in the Snow', 'Mayfly', and 'Boy done wrong', and you have yourself an almost flawless collection of pop songs. The type that would compliment (as has been said here already) a sunny summer's evening sitting on your porch with friends, a couple of beers, a warm breeze in your hair, with all life's troubles elsewhere, if only for those few moments.

Album-wise, this is definitely B+S at their peak. As mentioned before, they had better moments elsewhere, but no albums that surpass this.

(Agruably) My favourite album from (arguably) my favorite band. 5/5.
 
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pete

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I tried. I really did. I got halfway through on three attempts. Dull, boring and above all safe background music. I'm out.
 

GO

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I fucking really like this band.

My fave album by them is The Life Pursuit but I like all of their material , and really love some of it...although me being me don't ask me to name any of their songs..I don't play like that.

This album is the absolute shit

Absolutely incredible the time I saw them.

Haters gonna hate..so what,thats their misfortune

5/5
 

Lili Marlene

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I fucking really like this band.

My fave album by them is The Life Pursuit but I like all of their material , and really love some of it...although me being me don't ask me to name any of their songs..I don't play like that.

This album is the absolute shit

Absolutely incredible the time I saw them.

Haters gonna hate..so what,thats their misfortune

5/5
yeah, yeah, but explain why
 

dudley

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I don't mind B+S, but I understand why people hate them, surprised when people can't. His voice can be terribly grating and precious.

Stuart David: Hi Stuart!
Stuart Murdoch: You scared me
Stuard David: You scared me too
Both collapse weeping.*



*This joke was robbed off the internet, names, dates and places may have been edited.
 

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