red roses for me

Live At The Poetry Cafe, London Oct 98

After the tenth minute of sitting stationary in the railway tunnel people were starting to get restless. The guy sitting opposite was alternating between looking around wildly, swigging his cans of Tennant's Super, attempting to stand up & finding out his legs weren't currently working properly. Me I was just worried about missing The Lucksmiths.

I'm glad to say I needn't have worried, arriving at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, I went downstairs to the sound of them soundchecking & the shock of finding the place, that could double as a large bohemian living room, packed solid. This shows the power of the Belle & Sebastian mailing list if nothing else, this list also seemed to be a prime topic of conversation which felt a little peculiar as people were having the kind of chats usually reserved for last nights soap operas about something I'm part of & people I know (somewhere in Scotland the mad doctor Paul Mitchell laughs manically at the beast he created)

I sat back with a mild sense of apprehension, The Lucksmiths defined & dominated my summer, providing a soundtrack to a wonderful time, & now here they were, a snare drum, two guitars & a stage the size of something quite small indeed. I needn't have worried, after one song the band had the whole audience adoring them as they took us on a journey of garden sheds floating by weather balloons, librarians, long distance love, broken relationships & cheating at rubik's cubes, delivered with the total enthusiasm & humour of a band having as much fun playing as the audience are having watching them.

The strength of the songs captivating a roomful of people the majority of who hadn't heard a single song by them previously. Playing nearly everything from their last two albums it's a mark of their talent that you never missed for an instant the extra instruments featured on the recorded versions. Combined with a handful of new songs from their recent Drive In/Matinee EP plus the fact they were selling their CDs at ridiculously low prices made this quite simply an event to treasure.

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