Glasgow & West Scotland

Belle and Sebastian drummer left in store car park for four hours

Belle and Sebastian
Image caption Belle and Sebastian are currently touring North America

The drummer with indie group Belle and Sebastian has been reunited with his band after accidentally being left behind at a US supermarket car park.

Richard Colburn waited in vain in his pyjamas for four hours for the bus to return after the unscheduled stop at a Walmart in North Dakota.

His bandmates discovered he was gone only after driving 500 miles.

The band, who formed in Glasgow in 1996, are currently touring North America.

The band had been travelling from Missoula in Montana to a gig in St Paul in Minnesota when they made a late-night stop at Walmart in the town of Dickinson on Tuesday.

Image caption Richard Colburn waited for four hours at Walmart for the bus to return

Singer Stuart Murdoch told Minneapolis radio show The Current that the band had stopped to buy water before taking to their bunks for the night.

He said: "I was coming out the Walmart and he was coming into the Walmart and he was waving very happily in a good mood and that was the last time that we saw him."

Murdoch said the band returned to the bus oblivious that the drummer was still inside the store.

He said: "He was probably thinking that someone was going to notice but the trouble is that everyone went to bed."

Stuart Murdoch said that it was only hours later, when the band had long since crossed the state line, that they realised Colburn was missing.

He said: "There used to be a system, but because we all have mobile phones these days, everybody's got a little bit blasé.

"It used to be that you would leave a pass on the passenger seat for the last person and that's how the driver knew.

"Richard didn't have his phone with him."

'Desolate spot'

After waiting in the car park for four hours, Colburn used his credit card to check into a hotel.

Inspired by an episode of the West Wing, Murdoch said his instinct was to get the word out that Colburn had gone missing.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Colburn spent four hours waiting at Walmart in Dickinson, North Dakota

He tweeted asking for help to get the drummer to their next show, telling fans that the gig was "hanging in the balance".

He said: "We didn't know how we were going to get him from that desolate spot to St Paul, so we tweeted and lots of kind people tweeted me back saying 'I'm in Fargo, maybe I could get there, I'm in Bismarck, maybe we could work something out'. I even had a friend who was driving down from Winnipeg on the way to the show here.

"So currently we have him in a car driving to Bismarck and the only question is will they let him on the plane with no ID and in his pyjamas."

Murdoch joked that one former manager had suggested that organising the band's eight members was like "herding cats" and had suggested 15 years ago that they all be microchipped.

The band have since posted to say that Colburn was now "safely back in the fold".