Belle And Sebastian

Christopher Johnson
2 min read
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We got off to a somewhat slow SXSW start arriving late Wednesday in Austin (although we did get to land in Lubbock, Texas! Note to readers: Avoid the panhandle, at all costs!). My first impression of Austin’s airport scene was that the Bush era’s jackbooted economic, social and immigration cruelty merely kept this year’s attendance down.

Last year, bands were playing in the airport, there were enough pale-skinned, dyed black-haired, skinny lads and lasses combo-ed up with plenty enough hardcore, innovative facial hair to make waiting for your baggage a joyful experience.

This year, everyone just looked short, sweaty and unhappy. But once we got downtown I realized no one was at the airport because everyone was waiting in a line (or queued as Belle and Sebastian lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, later announced). In fact, we stood stalled in a doublewide line (wristbands and badges, the great and sad reality) and had to hear Vancouver’s The New Pornographers unseen through the wall. After the BC rockers cleared out, we got marched into Stubb’s then canned like sardines but saw an outstanding set by Glasgow, Scotland’s Belle and Sebastian.

An hour and one-half later my aging legs were sore as gout from standing on a steel sewer cover to get the extra two inches of height to see over the sea of knobbly heads. Without the irreplaceable presence of former Alibi news editor Tim McGivern’s irrepressible energy we headed home.

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