Sarah Martin’s tour memories…
Belle And Sebastian

Touring can be great fun, but it’s a lot of hard work. Many hands make for lighter work, of course, members mucking in together to get through a two-week slog up and down the nation’s motorways. But a quite different perspective can be had when you’re the only girl in the band. That’s where Sarah Martin finds herself, the violinist and singer the sole female in the current line-up of Scottish indie royalty Belle And Sebastian

Martin joined B&S just prior to the recording of second album ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ (1996), and has been ever present since. She was there in 1999 when the band won Best Newcomer at the BRIT Awards, and when the single ‘Legal Man’ went top 20 in 2000, leading to an appearance on Top Of The Pops. Oh, ‘Judy Is A Dick Slap’. What larks.

Ahead of the release of ‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’, B&S’s ninth studio album, Martin recalls some touring memories as part of Clash’s Good Trip, Bad Trip series.

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Belle And Sebastian, ‘The Party Line’, from ‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’

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Best Trip… 

“My favourite was our visit to Iceland in 2006. I’d wanted to go there for years, and went a day or two early to do some exploring. We had a gig in the most remote place I’ve ever visited, a tiny fishing village called Borgarfjörður, with a population of about 150. We were kept well entertained – boat trips at midnight when it was broad daylight, and some of the boys got involved in a football tournament against some handy teenagers who beat them. And we played our show in a boatshed that the locals had decorated with mirror balls, and about 1,200 people showed up. All the lights went out for a few minutes, and we just carried on playing until someone fixed it. I even got a road trip along the south coast and spent the last evening boiling myself in the Blue Lagoon. A really epic trip.”

Worst Trip… 

“An early trip to America. We ended up stuck in a car park about 20 miles outside Philadelphia for what seemed like days. It did get better, though.”

My favourite foreign venue…

“The Vega in Copenhagen is a great looking place, and always a fun place to play. too. I've got high hopes for the Zoo where we’re playing in Sydney, though – I’ve heard it has the best view of the city.

We are surprisingly popular in…

“Brazil! When we went for the first time in 2001 we thought someone must have invited us by mistake.”

Best or worst exotic foodstuff…

“Best: curry for breakfast in Indonesia and Korea. Worst: probably something unexpectedly tripe-y in Spain.”

The most interesting individual I've met on the road…

“Well, I met Robert Peston a couple of weeks ago – I could learn a lot from him. He’s the BBC’s economics editor, and writes a great blog.”

Worst on-tour injury, accident or infection…

“Just boring, run-of-the-mill throat infections, but I have been very lucky recently.”

My essential travel item…

“A pillow. And, sometimes, a sleeping bag.”

My essential travel tip…

“Take cat naps, whenever possible!”

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Photo: Søren Solkær

‘Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance’ is released on January 19th via Matador. Find the band online here

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