erasing clouds

DVD Review: Belle & Sebastian, Fans Only

by anna battista

Obsessed Belle and Sebastian fans rejoice: you can definitely leave behind the time when you had to swap video tapes with other equally obsessed fans to see your beloved band's videos or live gigs. The DVD Fans Only, released by Jeepster, will save you some precious time and will also keep you entertained for a long while.

Containing early videos directed by (previous B&S) Isobel Campbell and Karn David (wife of ex-B&S and later Looper Stuart David), rare footage, documentaries and interviews, live gigs and extracts of TV shows, Fans Only is an absolute must for any B&S lover. The DVD is compiled and edited by Blair Young and starts with the lo-tech video for the track "Dog On Wheels". Stuart Murdoch can be seen here wandering around Glasgow's Byres Road, popping in the now-closed record shop on the first floor of the bookshop John Smith (a local meeting place for indie fans at the time) or hanging around the Grosvenor Café in Ashton Lane.

The videos are interspersed by stills, footage from various rehearsals and short interviews with all the band members who tell their own stories and reveal how they met for a music project at Glasgow's Stow College. The DVD features early videos such as "Lazy Line Painter Jane", a track mostly recorded in a church hall with Monica Queen on the vocals, and "A Century Of Fakers" (hardcore fans will remember it being shown in 1998 at Glasgow's Gilmorehill Theatre and will recognise in it local actor, comedian and musician Sandy Nelson), and more recent ones, for example "Legal Man", in which the band reveal their acting talents, and "The Wrong Girl", starring Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake in the part of Stevie Jackson's father.

Footage of worldwide tours with B&S travelling across Europe, Japan, the States and Brazil (where the band performs a cover of Jorge Ben's classic "Minha Menina" in bad Portuguese…), is also included together with live performances in L.A., Benicassim and Glastonbury. With more than two hours of Belle and Sebastian footage, what else can you want from life?


Issue 18, December 2003

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