Belle & Sebastian in Koeln - the fourth time to experience them live, after Haldern, Hamburg, and London. Although there are some reservations as regards their latest album "The Life Pursuit" (with exceptions, though: I love "Another sunny day", "For the price of a cup of tea" and "To be myself completely") - and they did play several songs of this one as they are promoting the album on their tour - their performance was great! There were lots of the old songs - classics already - such as "The State I'm in", "Dog on Wheels", "The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner", and, of course, "The Boy with the Arab Strap", and more. The new album is certainly directed at a young audience with lots of "dancing-songs".
IMO, their success comes not only from making real good music and quite original lyrics, but from the fact that they are absolutely creative, inventive and very very prolific and, obviously one of the big exceptions in a "century of fakers" (also one of their songs, by the way from the album "Push barman to open old wounds). Additionally, they're still very much"indy" and anti-commerce. They have a small stall of t-shirts and artifacts, but everything is very relaxed, rather un-businesslike, and you can't get half of the things, such as the cool brown sweater I wanted to bargain ... sigh.
Stuart Murdoch, the band's leader is constantly improving his qualities as a showmaster and seems to have overcome his original shyness. The other band members are more in the background, as always.