Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Download

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Download

Article excerpt

We all have cultural moments we're sorry we missed. Saint Petersburg in the summer of 1917, Paris in 1968 and London's punk scene in 1977 do it for me. On a micro level, the same sense of lost glory affects bands that have moved past the moment when you loved them best. Watching the Manic Street Preachers perform their tawdry late albums in 1998, I thought the whole crowd was probably pleading for "forgotten" album tracks from The Holy Bible--ie, back when they were good.

Suede had the decency to acknowledge the power of past favourites last year, playing not one but four farewell gigs at the ICA: one for each album. It seems to be catching, especially with the launch of Don't Look Back, a series of gigs where bands past and present perform long-lost but much-loved albums in their entirety.

Pick of the bunch is Belle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister, their first album proper from 1996, a parade of whimsy so rich in imagery, you can almost smell the baked beans congealing down the greasy spoon. …

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