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Blog: Bowl And Sebastian

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I type to you know through a STINKING cold so please, if you are fragile, step back slightly from the monitor to avoid CONTAGION.

This cold has been gradually creeping in all weekend, and thus it was with a sniffle and a sore throat that i BRAVELY set out to Bloomsbury yesterday afternoon to play at the Third Annual Belle & Sebastian All-Dayer, "Bowl And Sebastian" at the Bloomsbury Bowling Alley.

I arrived to find not all that many people around, so wrote myself a setlist pretty much DEVOID of songs requiring audience participation. The set, however, CHANGED somewhat as I went on first and did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • String Bean Jean
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • (theme from) Dinosaur Planet
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Work's All Right (when it's a proper job)
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • It all started off pretty GOOD as the Pop Art MASSIVE all congregated at the front of the stage and sang along. Thanks chaps! This led to me doing a LOT of CHAT (which always seems to happen when I play their gigs), perhaps even TOO much, alongside possibly ill-advised journeys into Quiet Songs - this was a bit daft of me, especially doing It Only Works Because You're Here when there were three very loud lanes of BOWLING right next to me.

    It was only really when I did (theme from) Dinosaur Planet that I got the HANG of things - as discovered last time, the AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION (or "singing along" as it is sometimes known) is DEAD GOOD in this one, and everyone REALLY got into the swing of it. Several MORE people came down to watch so I decided to go for BROKE and do ALL the audience participation ones. It was GRATE! There was a whole lot of SYNCOPATED CLAPPING, especially during Work's All Right (when it's a proper job) - someone had REQUESTED this song and, after warning him that I didn't really know the chords, managed to completely forget how the middle bit went. SO I asked everyone to clap along, and the day was SAVED! Note to self: remember this for when it INEVITABLY happens again in future!

    It was all EXTREMELY good fun, and I retired to the rear of the room a happy man, where Mr S Hewitt managed to procure us a couple of BAR STOOLS. We spent the next couple of hours watching bands from the comfort of our CHAIRS, occasionally swivelling round to get some STOUT, the ALE having run out. There was CHATTING to various TYPES who'd arrived and, towards the end, even participation in "The State That I Am In", Mr D Rees's QUIZ SHOW. I must say, these Pop Art lads REALLY know how to do an All Dayer properly - there's always good bands (I particularly liked Puncture Repair Kit, but everyone was dead good), people to watch them, and special STUFF that makes it feel like a proper event.

    This included a headline set from The PopArt All Stars, where GUESTS got up to sing a song. I've been practicing "Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie" for WEEKS now, singing it to myself all day EVERY DAY in a desperate attempt NOT to make a complete fool of myself like I did on the Battersea Barge HOWLING "Country House". I think I managed to carry it off OK this time - even though it was played in a DIFFERENT KEY to the original - that will be my excuse anyway.

    The evening finished with Mr Solo (aka him from David Devant And His Spirit Wife) doing "Judy And The Dream Of Horses", which was EXTREMELY impressive - he can really sing that bloke - after which I said my farewells to the DISCO DANCERS and made my way home, pleased with a gig gone well but most of all RELIEVED that I'd managed not to make a complete pillock of myself. PHEW!

    posted 20/10/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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