Glasgow City Music Tours present Belle & Sebastian Walking Tours
- Kirstyn Smith
- 21 June 2016
New walking tours celebrate 20 years since the band’s debut album Tigermilk
To celebrate 20 years since Belle & Sebastian released their debut album Tigermilk, Glasgow City Music Tours, along with People Make Glasgow, have created a walking trail aimed at showcasing the nooks and crannies of Glasgow that helped the band shape their sound.
Taking two to three hours without stopping, the tour begins at Glasgow Kelvin College and is a nostalgic meander through Kelvingrove, past Glasgow University and up to the Botanic Gardens. Some of the stops along the way include:
Glasgow School of Art
Renfrew Street is home to the Glasgow School of Art – which has seen its fair share of tragedy in recent years – as well as the flat where Belle & Sebastian had their very first gig. The compilation Push Barman to Open Old Wounds (2005) – made up of tracks from their Jeepster Records singles and EPs – was named after some graffiti scrawled on GSA Union’s emergency exit.
Tigermilk was recorded at CaVa Studios in just five days, and released three months later; pretty remarkable when you remember the bandmates were new acquaintances, picked up through a mixture of open mic recruitment and friends of friends. Some of the studio was converted into flats and some lucky sod now gets to park their car in the basement garage that was once the room where the band recorded.
The Halt Bar
Now known as West on the Corner, The Halt Bar, as the band will remember it, is where singer-guitarists Stuart Murdoch and Stevie Jackson first met, while taking part in the bar’s weekly open mic night. Murdoch already had Stuart David on board, who he’d met on a training-for-work course aimed at unemployed Glasgow musicians – a course they were on mainly to nab an extra tenner a week in dole money.
The University of Glasgow
Plenty of famous former students here, but Murdoch, Chris Geddes and Sarah Martin all studied at Glasgow University. In 2001 Murdoch ran for Student Rector but was pipped to the post by he of Chewin’ the Fat and Still Game – Greg Hemphill.
Hyndland Parish Church
Stuart Murdoch worked as caretaker and lived in the flat above the church from 1995—2004. The church was the site of rehearsal and recording space for Belle & Sebastian and they honoured its part in their history in the music video for 'Lazy Line Painter Jane'.
For bespoke Belle & Sebastian Music Trails – which includes the usual trail, as well as access to aural and visual material not available to the public – contact firstname.lastname@example.org