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Belle and Sebastian

LIVE REVIEW: Isobel Campbell, Hotel Cecil, 14.02.2020

in Live Reviews by
isobel campbell live at hotel cecil copenhagen

“Thank you for remembering me,” says Isobel Campbell. “We didn’t do any press, so we worried only five people would show up.”

Looking around a reasonably full room at Hotel Cecil, this seems like classic understatement, a part of the performance from a singer-songwriter whose nearly-25 year career involved stints in a beloved indie rock band and a multi-album collaboration with a titan of alternative rock, to say nothing of her five solo records.

But Campbell has kept a low profile in recent years. Her latest album, There is No Other…, released this month, is her first in almost 10 years. The new songs are a feature of the evening, the 60s inspired folk patterns drawing out her whispery vocals.

Opener Nina Violet is backing her on viola, bass, and guitar, but where she really shines is on vocals. They perform several songs from Campbell’s collaborations with Mark Lanegan, with Violet taking over Lanegan’s vocals. In particular, Violet’s lead vocals on “Seafaring Song” and “Something to Believe” not only highlighted her abilities in a way her own songs don’t, but adds a completely different dynamic to Campbell’s songs; the harmonies become soft and rich, freed from the gravel of Lanegan’s timbre.

This performance is not part of a wild Friday night out. Most of the songs are quiet enough that you can hear Campbell’s guitarist tapping his foot while he plays and the most intense moment of the set might be the harmonics she plays on her cello for the outro of “Thursday’s Child.” But while Campbell is warm and teasing between songs, it’s the gentleness of her voice that draws everyone in, and that gentleness carries through the whole set.

Campbell reveals that her final song is the first one she ever wrote, back when she was 21 years old. She doesn’t mention that it was for the band where she got her start, nor does anyone in the audience seem to be demanding songs from a group that Campbell has now been out of far longer than she was ever a member of. Still, the delight in the room when she begins “Is It Wicked Not To Care?” is palpable. And it’s a consistent, low-key way for her to bring the evening to a close.

Photos of the year 2015

in Blog/Photos by
Father John Misty

Photos by Tom Spray, Morten Aagaard Krogh and Amanda Farah

Every year Here Today’s talented photographers capture a little piece of the magic of live performances around Denmark. As the end of 2015 draws closer we’d like to revisit some of the best pictures to have been featured this year, and ask you to vote for the best. Add your email and one lucky voter will win a print copy of the top voted picture of 2015.

Voting ends at midnight on December the 20th.

 [yop_poll id=”1″ tr_id=””” show_results=”-1″]

Photo by Tom Spray
Deafheaven – Photo by Tom Spray

Photo by Tom Spray
The Tallest Man On Earth – Photo by Tom Spray

Photo by Tom Spray
Run The Jewels – Photo by Tom Spray

Photo by Tom Spray
Foxygen – Photo by Tom Spray

Iceage (Photo by Tom Spray)
Iceage – Photo by Tom Spray

 

Photo by Tom Spray
Paul McCartney – Photo by Tom Spray

Belle and Sebastian. Photo by Amanda Farah
Belle and Sebastian. Photo by Amanda Farah

Viet Cong (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Viet Cong – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

St. Vincent (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
St. Vincent – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Future Islands - Photo Morten Aagaard Krogh
Future Islands – Photo Morten Aagaard Krogh

Photo by Morten Krogh
Bob Hund – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Fat White Family photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Fat White Family – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Father John Misty (Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Father John Misty – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Ought (photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh)
Ought – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

 

LIVE REVIEW: Belle & Sebastian, Tivoli, 31.07.2015

in Live Reviews by

Photos by Amanda Farah

“This was a good idea, eh? Someone had a good idea.” Gazing out into the coloured lights of Tivoli, and beyond them, the blue moon rising into view, Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch is in a jolly mood. The Glasgow indie-pop legends appear to have adopted Copenhagen as their mid-tour break spot of choice, and as they tell it, the grassy spots of Assistens Cemetery are the spiritual homeland for all things whimsical and twee.

In spite of their reputation for low-key chamber pop, the band’s latest release Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance veers in the opposite direction, towards something more danceable and extroverted. Certainly they have pulled out all the stops for this tour, cramming thirteen people on stage and peppering their set with little video interludes and slickly-produced projections. At times this veers into almost ridiculous territory, especially during the day-glo disco excess of “The Party Line”, but this is tempered by vision of Stuart bouncing around the stage in high-waisted jeans and a turtleneck.

Photo by Amanda Farah
Photo by Amanda Farah

As with any band with almost two decades of work behind them, Belle & Sebastian have to balance their new material with an impressive backlog of indie hits. But surprisingly, some of the most memorable moments of the evening occur during songs from Girls in Peacetime. The Talking Heads-channeling “Perfect Couples” promises to be a live highlight for years go come, aided by Stevie Jackson’s ad-hoc monologue including gems such as (to be read in a Glaswegian accent):

“Girls on bikes, we see a lot of that round here, we dig it”;

[on the subject of the tv show Borgen] “Have you seen it? Lovely interiors, best lampshades I’ve ever seen… But what do you want from me, I’m middle-aged.”

Photo by Amanda Farah
Photo by Amanda Farah

Keen to include their audience in as many ways as possible, Stevie and Stuart serenade a young Swedish woman with “Jonathan David”, before inviting twenty fans to participate in the traditional stage invasion/dance-along to “The Boy with the Arab Strap”. Everyone is invited to join the band for meditation and a canal tour on the following day, no doubt causing packs of oddly-coiffed skinny boys to desperately roam the city all of Saturday. Because no matter how big the venue, no matter how elaborate the stage set-up, Belle & Sebastian will always be the band for lazy book-readers and tea-sippers, the last vanguard of the quietest revolution.

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