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A Point-by-Point Analysis of Belle & Sebastian’s Really Polite Survey

The Scottish group has put questions to fans about a cruise they're planning for August 2019 and it's so damn sweet :').
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
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Belle and Sebastian are, if nothing else, very polite. These days, they're a bunch of ever-so-slightly older rockers who look like their main collective hobby is going on walking holidays. It's a wholesome vibe. Right now, B&S are planning a musical cruise – like the Weezer cruise, or Parahoy!, where bands play for fans on a boat, as it moves from A to B over the course of a few days. It's basically a floating festival. The band are planning the cruise to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Bowlie Weekender, a 1999 festival they curated at a Pontin's holiday camp in Camber Sands, and as music's most courteous band, they want to consult their fans. It's rude not to ask people what they think, after all.


But not only have they asked Belle and Sebastian heads about the cruise (a simple query on Twitter would not be on brand enough for the Twee-est Band in Indie Rock, after all), but they've set up a very organised Survey Monkey poll, so that the fans can really sound off about the idea of a Belle and Sebastian cruise. You can, if you would like, do that survey here. Let me take you through it:

It opens, of course, with some puns. Like, a lot of puns. "Captains," "on board." Boat jokes. Strap in guys, we're doing a survey!

The first question lists a bunch of potential destinations, which reads a lot like the sort of places people go when they say they need to do things like "kick back" and "just relax" for a bit. Basically it's all the places your uncle and auntie go now they've retired early:

The exclamation mark after the "It doesn't matter" option just offered to pay my bus fare home from work! Next they wanna know how many stops their passengers of indie would like to make. I'd argue that this is getting a bit ridiculous now – you can't please everyone lads, just make whatever stops you want.

When they start asking what type of room people would want to stay in it's sort of like Belle and Sebastian cease being Belle and Sebastian and actually just turn into the extremely organised friend in your group chat who is actually the only one arranging anything – so fair play – but whose particularity and efficiency is actually quite grating. Also, this question reveals that it will actually be quite pricey to go on a cruise with Belle and Sebastian (I mean: it's a cruise. Cruises are not cheap). Probably one for the 6Music dads.


Interestingly, it appears that Belle and Sebastian have had the fun job of being in a band for too long because they think you want to go on holiday with your co-workers:

Next for the fun bit: who else do you want to see playing the cruise? Again, nice as this is, it's a bit idealistic isn't it (though to be honest, everyone will probably just put Mogwai)? And as for the activities part, I've never been on a cruise, so I always imagine them to be havens for older people getting to do all the fun shit they've never done. Indoor rockclimbing with Stuart Murdoch y/n?

The next few questions are sort of admin-y and boring, so I'm going to leave those out, but there is this absolute smasher that comes in at number 12:

I'd note that in question number one, the survey notifies the person filling it in that the cruise will be taking place in August 2019. Are Belle and Sebastian fans so nice that – even knowing that they cannot attend for whatever future reason – they would fill out the survey anyway? Maybe that's just the kind of people they are.

I actually sort of wish every band would send out a survey to their fans before they do anything: new tours, new albums, etc. Musicians: take note. Forget Twitter, and Instagram, and Facebook: Survey Monkey is the best way to connect with the people who keep you afloat.

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