'This is proper', proclaimed Stuart Murdoch as he surveyed the throng which had assembled, on a perfect summer evening, in the beautifully restored Kelvingrove Bandstand. A West End band playing in an iconic West End venue. What a perfect way to open The Commonwealth Games Party in that neck of the woods.
It was a bit of an event, too, because Belle and Sebastian hadn't played for a fair while and the faithful had turned out in large numbers hopeful that all would be well. In fact, tickets for this gig were rarer than hen's teeth, so it is pleasing to report that all was, in fact, lovely. They played well, sounded great and seemed to have a thoroughly enjoyable time doing it.
Playing perfect music for such a tranquil evening, they took an effortlessly laid back trawl through the back catalogue.
The utterly appropriate The Stars of Track and Field was followed by Murdoch conducting a Commonwealth Games quiz, won, slightly suspiciously, by his sister, amongst others. They played I'm a Cuckoo, Piazza, New York Catcher, A Summer Wasting and Travelling Light. But the set took off, almost vertically, with the trio of I Didn't See It Coming, The Boy With the Arab Strap and Legal Man. The West End rose, as one and danced. On the seats, in the aisles and especially on the stage. The band left to a delirious standing ovation but the constraints of the Opening Ceremony timings meant that the unfortunate MC, Vic Galloway, was roundly booed when he announced that there would be no encore. 'Let The Games begin' Murdoch had yelled as he left the stage. And sure enough, The Games did.