Belle & Sebastian – What To Look For In Summer

Stuart Murdoch and friends had, like many other people, big plans for 2020 which included long coveted recording sessions in LA, but instead Belle & Sebastian’s first new album since Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance had to be put on hold whilst the music industry went into enforced hibernation.

Let’s face it, at the risk of incurring the wrath of their passionate fans (The experience of which you suspect it’s like being mauled by a very cross Paddington) everybody needed a boost in the wake of the middling Days of The Bagnold Summer soundtrack – and it’s a big relief that What To Look For In Summer is a far superior placeholder.

A weighty twenty six tracks recorded in concert last year predominantly on their maritime Boaty Weekend self-curated festival, this isn’t quite a definitive greatest hits, but the selected renditions jump from the pre-Tigermilk era to their more cosmopolitan recent past. The centrepiece is as always The Boy With The Arab Strap, during which the band invite their audience on stage to dance, but there’s plenty otherwise to remind us of the joyful, restorative power of both live music in general and Belle & Sebastian in particular.

Read the full review here.

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