No, it’s not a ruse from those wily Scottish pop-rockers: Belle & Sebastian really did lose their drummer in North Dakota as they made their way to St. Paul for tonight’s Palace Theatre concert.
“He was left at a service station; that’s all I know,” reports the band’s label representative at Matador Records. This follows a tweet sent out around 10 a.m. Tuesday from the band’s frontman Stuart Murdoch asking for help in getting his bandmate Richard Colburn to the Minnesota capital in time for tonight’s gig.
“[Expletive], we left Richard in North Dakota,” read the first tweet from Murdoch. “Anyone want to be a hero and get him to St Paul, Minnesota somehow. The gig weighs in the balance.”
As fans debated whether or not he was joking, a subsequent tweet from Murdoch provided an update that thankfully confirmed that somebody in North Dakota took him seriously: “We’re getting him in a car to Bismarck, a flight to Minneapolis," Murdoch said. "We should be OK for tonight.”
Shit, we left Richard in North Dakota. Anyone want to be a hero and get him to St Paul, Minnesota somehow. The gig hangs in the balance..��— stuart murdoch (@nee_massey) August 15, 2017
UPDATE: we're getting him in a car to Bismarck, a flight to Minneapolis. we should be ok for tonight. ��— stuart murdoch (@nee_massey) August 15, 2017
Fellow touring musicians are no doubt shaking their head at the story, since they know how easily this can happen -- especially in a band like Belle & Sebastian with seven members and a sizable crew. Everyone probably ran off the bus in a flurry at a gas stop to use a non-mobile bathroom and grab some snacks, and then they meandered back one by one, losing count of their numbers as they all climbed back into their private bus bunks. That it happened in the middle of North Dakota, however, adds extra wince value.
The band was making its way from a show in Missoula, Mont., following a big gig at the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco this past weekend. We last saw the group two summers ago when it headlined Rock the Garden outside Walker Art Center.
Whatever really happened, there should be some funny storytelling at tonight’s show; assuming Delta airlines doesn’t subsequently lose track of Colburn.
Tickets for the concert are still on sale. This seemed like an approrpiate song to preview it.