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Belle and Sebastian

When

Friday, May 27, 2022 7:00 PM

Where

Palace Theatre

17 7th Pl W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

Belle and Sebastian Spring Tour 2022
Belle and Sebastian Spring Tour 2022First Avenue

Effective immediately, all concerts and events at First Avenue and associated venues will require either proof of a full series of COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the prior 72 hours. More info HERE.

Presale starts on Thursday, March 3 at 10AM | Tickets on sale on Friday, March 4 at 10AM

Doors open at 7PM | Show starts at 8PM | 18+ | Tickets start at $39.50

More information

A Bit of Previous is the tenth studio album by Belle and Sebastian and their first full-length in seven years. This may be surprising to anyone following the recent life pursuits of the Glasgow 7-piece: The Boaty Weekender – a 3000 capacity star-studded four-day music festival on a cruise liner sailing the Mediterranean; a trilogy of EPs; a soundtrack for the directorial debut of The Inbetweeners’ Simon Bird; a live album showcasing the band’s present-day iteration as savvy main stage entertainers; and in 2020 a collaborative project with fans called ‘Protecting The Hive’. But in all these idiosyncratic endeavours, as intrinsic to the band’s DNA as the stage invasion at the end of each of their shows, a full-length has eluded us.

A Bit Of Previous is a classic Belle and Sebastian album preoccupied with songs and melodies that won’t leave your head and lyrics that can make you smile and ponder and sometimes be melancholic. It’s an album self-produced and recorded by Belle and Sebastian (with contributions from Brian McNeill, Matt Wiggins, Kevin Burleigh, and Shawn Everett) and their most hands-on since The Boy With The Arab Strap.

In some respects, A Bit Of Previous is also a first. It’s the first album the band recorded in their native Glasgow in 20 years (the last being 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant). What started off as a pandemic necessity – having to ditch plans to record in California in spring of 2020 – became a refreshing change of pace. Unbeholden to restrictive and expensive studio schedules, it allowed for long walks through the streets and parks of Glasgow and spontaneous train journeys to nearby towns which embedded proceedings with a peculiar sense of place. The band upgraded their practice space to a makeshift studio, making some creative interior design choices to keep it pandemic safe.

A Bit of Previous is Belle and Sebastian taking on age and getting older and emerging all the more vital for it. ‘Young And Stupid’ is a stuttering acoustic rocker that without its lilting violin might be mistaken for a T. Rex song, the lyrics and nonchalant vocals facing the passage of time with wry ennui: “Now we’re old with creaking bones / Some with partners some alone / Some with kids and some with dogs / Getting through the nightly slog / Everything is fine when you’re young and stupid”.

‘Come On Home’, with its fireside piano and conversational exchanges between Murdoch and Martin, evokes a handing over of the generational baton with a call to “Give a chance to the old / Set the record straight on the welfare state / Give a chance to the young / Everyone deserves a life in the sun”.

While the arrangements are often playful, there is an underlying gravity. The deceptively feelgood, choir backed ‘If They’re Shooting At You’ reads like a poignant ode to defiance and survival: ‘If they’re shooting at you kid / You must be doing something right”. On Martin’s ‘Reclaim The Night’, a jaunty backbeat tells of a cross-generational everywoman trepidation that in 2022 is more pertinent than ever.

A Bit of Previous is also scattered with big, occasionally delirious pop moments. ‘Unnecessary Drama’ rips through a cacophony of overdriven riffs and a droning harmonica that borders on the unhinged and is one of the band’s heaviest outings since, well, ever. The 140+ bpm ’Talk To Me Talk To Me’ is ablaze with euro synths and keyboard horns as the voices of Murdoch and Martin intertwine on a breathless chorus. ‘Working Boy in New York City’ exists in a parallel universe where the band did in fact make it to California – such is the escapist bliss of its sloping flute and bittersweet funk.

On the other side of the spectrum are some of Belle and Sebastian’s most moving ballads. Tender finger-picked paean to a lover ‘Do It For Your Country’ and doo-wop-inflicted ‘Sea Of Sorrow’ showcase Murdoch’s tenor at its most bare and affecting, while Stevie Jackson contributes lovelorn country waltz ‘Deathbed of My Dreams’.

So what is a A Bit of Previous? It’s a bit of everything, and a lot of what makes Belle and Sebastian so special and enduring. It’s a band tackling the insight, experience and responsibility that come with getting older with humour and irreverence and lyrical exactitude and musical bravado. It’s one of the UK’s most beloved pop portraitists asserting themselves as an infallible source of energy and fun.

There’s a touch of Buddhism, too, a practice increasingly influential on Murdoch’s outlook in recent years and given a further manifestation via his popular weekly guided online meditation sessions. The album title is possibly a reference to the concept of reincarnation. As Murdoch notes in the liner notes: “There is a firmly held belief in Buddhism that we have been reborn so many times and in so many guises that if we look around us, we are bound to see a person who has been our mother in a past life. And we are surrounded by people who have been our children. If we truly had that in our minds and in our hearts, we would drop the prejudice we had: our attitude to strangers and difficult people would alter emphatically.”


Divino Niño—the band of Chicago-via-Bogotá, Colombia’s Camilo Medina and Javier Forero, with Pierce Codina (drums), Guillermo Rodriguez (guitar), and Justin Vittori (multi-instrumentalist)—have released their dynamic new single “Drive,” the band’s first release of 2021 and an early preview of their forthcoming genre-defying album for Winspear. Out now alongside a video directed by Alec Basse that twists and turns along with every accompanying musical shift, ”Drive” arrived just ahead of Divino Niño’s Pitchfork Music Festival debut on September 11, and a string of headline tour dates.

“Drive” builds upon the intoxicating psych pop and bilingual lyricism of the band’s most recent critically acclaimed LP Foam, while stepping in an exciting new direction that showcases their expanding influences: everything from Reggaeton and electronic music, to South American rock/rap and bachata. “During lockdown, we spent some time trying to find ourselves by making music that captures our friendship and all the things that crack us up,” explains singer/guitarist Camilo Medina. “We got really interested in how other countries interpret American music, which in our minds is the process of imitating and ultimately stumbling into something completely new. ‘Drive’ started out as a demo inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gypsy.’ As the song evolved, we ended up mixing in influences of nostalgic rock/rap from South America.”

Of the epic new video, the band explain: “We wanted the video to represent driving as a psycho magical act to confront demons and disappointment head-on. As the musical styles in the song transition, so do the visuals – from partying in a Tesla to a dreamy bachata dance hall, to a spa with culty vibes – resolving in the character finding a sense of post-dawn, pre-hangover peace.”

With 2020’s touring plans put to a halt, the band immediately shifted to writing and recording mode and decamped together in a Wisconsin cabin to begin working on new material. Their retreat was short-lived, but yielded 2020’s sensual “Made Up My Mind” single. As the pandemic worsened, the band returned to Chicago to shelter in place. When they were finally able to come together again late last year, all the music they had consumed during their time apart was inseparable from the new material they began cooking up. The resultant “Drive” is an exhilarating sonic journey that guides listeners through dreamy walls of synths, dynamic 808 dance beats, and funk-inspired guitars. Above all, one thing remains consistent with Divino Niño: they’ll keep your body moving.

When

Friday, May 27, 2022 7:00 PM

Where

Palace Theatre

17 7th Pl W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

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