Belle & Sebastian @ The Tivoli, 07.03.2011

Seeing Belle & Sebastian at All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK in December was exciting.  It wasn’t just that the band were curating the weekend and the main band on the Saturday night or that ATP is the more civilised way to experience a music festival but it the weekend was part of a two month adventure that took in so much more than seeing a few indie bands at Butlins over three days and was planned months in advance.

A week back in Devon with the family, meeting my 3 month old nephew for the first time, a week in London, five days in Paris, a few more days back in Devon, the long weekend at Butlins for ATP, back to London again, Christmas in Cornwall, New Year in Dorset, back to London and flying back to Australia.  Seeing Belle & Sebastian at ATP was just three days in the middle of all that but still part of the adventure.

Seeing Belle & Sebastian three months later at The Tivoli in Brisbane just doesn’t have the same levels of excitement involved with it. How could it?  It’s not helped by the show being presented by a promoter whose standard business practice is not to confirm media passes until the day of the show.  It’s only when I get my emailed confirmation at 2:13pm that I know that I’m going.  Confirmation received I get straight online to buy a ticket for my better half (B&S being her favourite band, the ATP ticket having been her Christmas present) and find that they’ve been reduced to $50.  A last minute sale to get rid of the final few tickets or a desperate measure to sell tickets to a poorly sold show?  Judging by a fairly full Tivoli it seems to be the former.

There’s no photo pit tonight, so it’s shooting from the crowd again.  Having learnt what I did from the recent Joanna Newsom show, I decide to photograph from the balcony.  It’s not the best plan tonight though,  it’s not the best angle or the best position and the lights at the back of the stage keep pointing straight up at me, causing no end of glare.  After two songs I decide to relocate to downstairs and try my luck at the door near the side of the stairs, where I photographed Sufjan Stevens from, but it’s a bad move as there’s just too many people between me and the stage and a total wast of the third song.  Camera safely stowed in my bag, I’m back upstairs on the balcony for the rest of the show.  Midway through Stuart Murdoch decides to go walkabout, all the way up the stairs to a position on the balcony in amongst the audience directly opposite me.  It’s long after the first three songs but do I whip me camera out again and take some more photos?  I spend so long wrestling with the “should I, shouldn’t I” dilemma that by the time I decide that I’m going to go for it, it’s much too late and I only have enough time for a couple of quick shots taken without anything in the way of sorting out the right settings.

Apart from the poor photos, seeing Belle & Sebastian at The Tivoli in Brisbane is a nice way to spend a Monday night in March.  Good songs, played well, a good atmosphere and the typically between-song entertaining banter from Stuart Murdoch.  It’s just that it pales into almost complete insignificance compared to seeing them in the middle of December in the UK.

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