For the first time, Electric Honey Records, the label set up by Stow College’s music business course, has decided to release an album. One CD single per year is the usual output but, as Victor Kiam nearly said, they liked Belle And Sebastian so much they bought the album.
Belle and Sebastian have only a modest gigging history behind them. Leading light Stuart Murdoch, a man possessed by the ghost and in particular the voice of doomed pastoral poet-songwriter Nick Drake, has been responsible for a couple of intriguing demos in the last couple of years, fronting essentially solo projects with unwieldy names like La Pastie Da La Bourgeoisie and Lisa Helps The Blind.
While still very much Murdoch’s baby, Belle and Sebastian is a proper band set-up and a glorious sound they make too. The aforementioned Nick Drake is a vital influence as are the pure, graceful brassy pop tones of Love. Although Tigermilk boasts an otherworldly 60s atmosphere, there are echoes of current lush orchestral combos like Tindersticks if they made a more joyful sound, The High Llamas or Stereolab in their cinematic mode.
Along with Jim Beattie’s Adventures In Stereo, this is as light and sunny as the Scottish summer gets. Let’s hope Belle and Sebastian reach the size of audience they have the potential to seduce.
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