Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle & Sebastian #606

Belle_And_Sebastian_-_If_You're_Feeling_Sinister.jpgOften seen as the quintessential gay album of the nineties, I was gifted If You’re Feeling Sinister by old gay pal Gay Jamie who, himself, had obtained it during the Great Internet Download Free-For-All of the mid to late 1990s.

At the time, I saw Belle & Sebastian as a kind of hipster bollocks band. Loved by trendies and soul patch sporting arts students and with such prejudice, I  wasn’t all that bothered by them. Of course, this was in my late, uninformed, uncultured, blinkered, pre-internet, pre-university, unenlightened, pre-millennial twenties where most of my world still revolved around Liverpool, a shit office job and regularly going to the pub with similarly minded folk and talking shite.

Of course, hipster pals were already hinting that I would like the band long before I’d actually listened to the album. Indeed, when I met him, Hipster Nick was already much of a keen fan and Telly Expert Tim, who would often talk about how he was into Belle & Sebastian before anyone else had even conceived of the idea of a band called Belle & Sebastian and that, besides which, they weren’t as good now, anyway, since Stuart had left the band, would sneer at anyone who clearly had only recently become a fan. The thing was, this time they were right; I did like the band.

Fortunately, Stuart was still in the band at the point of releasing If You’re Feeling Sinister and Tim was quite right, the band’s early albums are, in my opinion, the better ones. Much in the same way that Syd Barratt’s influenced Pink Floyd albums are distinctly different to those that come later and indeed, after, Roger Waters. Well crafted, the songs on the album have a unique sound with a lyrical poetic genius that is lacking from the majority of modern bands some of them define adolescent exploratory gay sentiment while others reflect on angst, paranoia or obsession.

A genius of an album!

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Boy with the Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian (#216)

Boy with the arab strapBoy with the Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian are another band I was told I would should like. I hate that. I hate being told I should like something.

Anyway, as it happens I should have liked them and I do. Should have because had I been into Belle and Sebastian earlier I might be able to wear a soul patch, ponce about with a beret and call myself a hipster. As it happens I’m way too cool for all that and besides, Belle and Sebastian are so last year and a poor shade on what they used to be like when Stuart was in the band.

See. I know all the hipster talk.

Besides, there is no one in the band called Belle and I’m buggered if I can remember anyone called Sebastian being in it either.

Anyway, this unremarkable album tries to recapture the momentum started by If You’re Feeling Sinister by being extra quirky in sound (it fails) and the sixth form bandishness achieved through Lazy Line Painter Jane in It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career (and failing again). John Peel once said about Belle and Sebastian “Who?”; a sentiment held by many today too. However there are some memorable tracks on this album and you could say that all the albums following this release are shite. That way you too can start to grow that goatee and affect those charity shop tweeds.

 

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