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Glasgow indie rockers Belle & Sebastian get ready to support Radiohead at TRNSMT ... 20 years after chickening out

Daily Record logoDaily Record 29/06/2017 Gillian Loney
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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian chickened out of touring with Radiohead – but next week they will support them on their headline slot at TRNSMT.

Scotland’s newest festival takes place at Glasgow Green – with Radiohead topping the bill on the Friday, Kasabian on Saturday and Biffy Clyro on Sunday.

It seems that Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and his pals have finally got their band – with the Belles drafted in to warm up the crowd for the OK Computer rockers.

Also on the bill for Friday will be London Grammar, Rag’N’Bone Man, Everything Everything and JP Cooper.

The Belles’ keyboard player Chris Geddes said the band are thrilled at getting the call, which they understand came from the guys in Radiohead themselves.

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty

He said: “Radiohead are an amazing band – one of the most important of the last 20 years – and to be playing with them is incredible.

“We got offered a support tour with them way back when the band first started but we didn’t have it together at that point to go on a big arena tour. It’s nice to get to play with them now after all these years.”

Viewed by many as an arty, fey band, Belle & Sebastian – led by Stuart Murdoch – have muscled up their live show.

The Glasgow act played the BBC’s 6 Music Festival when it decamped to their home city this year and are delighted to be back playing in front of a 50,000-strong home crowd – their biggest-ever audience.

Chris added: “It might be a bit of a cliche but I think it’s true – touring bands genuinely enjoy playing in Glasgow. You usually get really good support and people don’t hold back. It’s not like they’ll be pacing themselves because it’s only the Friday.

“It’s different for us because it’s our home town and you’re playing to people you know.

“When you’re on tour, you can relax a bit because your friends aren’t watching you.”

While it’s due to rain most of next week, it seems the festival Gods are smiling and next Friday it is expected be largely cloudy with some showers while next Saturday and Sunday may even have a hint of sunshine in otherwise cloudy days.

Credits: AFP/ Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: AFP/ Getty

The Belles reckon they could be the festival’s good luck charm.

Chris said: “We’ve played outdoors in Glasgow a few times over the years.

“Other than one time in 1997 when we had a gig at Kelvingrove Park rained off, we’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather. Hopefully we can keep that good luck going.”

The seven-piece formed in 1996 and, nine albums later, have come to represent a gentler Glasgow sound known the world over.

While many fans are gutted that T in the Park has been mothballed this year, Chris reckons a rock event – after the success of the 6 Music Festival in March and Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2014 – is just what the city needs.

He said: “I guess it has been a while since there has been something like this – a proper festival in Glasgow, like there is in London’s Hyde Park. It’s good that it’s happening.”

● TRNSMT starts next Friday and runs for three days. For the full line-up and ticket info, go to trnsmtfest.com.

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