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Alternative and Indie

Belle & Sebastian

Events

16 Upcoming Events

United Kingdom

16 Events
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About

Acclaimed Scottish indie pop outfit helmed by Stuart Murdoch

If there were a need for poster boys and girls for the accidental popstar, twee indie poppers Belle & Sebastian would fit the bill. The Scottish outfit, formed around the songs of Stuart Murdoch, built a reputation on jangling guitars, winsome melodies and poetic lyrics about the mundanity of life, all without any intent towards building any kind of reputation at all.

By 1994, Murdoch had accumulated a treasure trove of songs written while he contended with chronic fatigue syndrome. A grant from a Scottish programme for unemployed musicians gave Murdoch an opportunity to record his first record. He assembled a band consisting of Isobel Campbell (cello), Sarah Martin (violin), Stevie Jackson (guitar), Chris Geddes (keyboards), Stuart David (bass) and Richard Colburn (drums).

Tigermilk was released in 1996 and quickly found an audience thanks to its bookish, gentle indie pop, not a million miles from influential Glaswegian bands such as The Vaselines, BMX Bandits and The Pastels. Before the year was out, they had released their second album, the equally lauded If You’re Feeling Sinister. Three EPs later, the band had signed to feted US label Matador for their third album, 1998’s critically acclaimed The Boy With The Arab Strap.

Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant and the soundtrack to Todd Solondz’s film Storytelling received more lukewarm responses than the band’s previous work but Belle & Sebastian were back on top form for 2003’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress and the 2006’s unexpectedly rocking The Life Pursuit. By this point, Stuart David and Isobel Campbell had left the band, leaving Murdoch as their clear focal point and leader.

Following 2010’s Write About Love, the band went relatively quiet. Murdoch worked on a solo project God Help The Girl, which later became a film starring Olly Alexander. A new Belle & Sebastian record didn’t emerge until 2015’s Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance.

Two years later, they released a three EP series titled How To Solve Our Human Problems, later collecting them into one package under the same name. In 2019, they provided the soundtrack for Simon Bird’s directorial debut Days Of The Bagnold Summer, starring Nick Cave’s son Earl.

Forced into a temporary hiatus by the COVID-19 pandemic, Belle & Sebastian collected together recordings from their 2019 tour and released them as a double live album titled What To Look For In Summer. In 2021, Belle & Sebastian announced a UK tour for January and February 2022.