IN THE ALL NIGHT CAFÉ – How Belle and Sebastian came to be

April 23, 2015, Article by Beau Merchant in Books, Music

Now in their 21st year and with 9 studio albums under their kilts (the brilliant Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance was released earlier this year), this memoir by Belle and Sebastian founding member Stuart David explores the band’s formative year and the making of their much-loved debut, Tigermilk.

As a band mostly shrouded in mystery (the book’s title is a reference to the legend amongst fans that the band was formed one night in a café), it is fascinating and surprising to read such an honest and detailed account of how lead singer Stuart Murdoch’s ambition and vision led to a group of out-of-work musicians became the darlings of the melodic indie scene.

As well as the wider story of the band, this is also a very personal account of Stuart David’s time jumping from band to band with no crystal clear idea of what or where he wants to play. It’s not until he meets Murdoch at a sponsored music class for unemployed musicians that the beginnings of Belle and Sebastian begin to form. His relationship with Murdoch is warming, touching and you get a real sense of the respect David has for Murdoch as a songwriter and musician. The process and ideas behind the songs on Tigermilk give the tracks a new freshness and depth, and means new listens are rewarded.

A must-read for fans of Belle and Sebastian and anyone who had the dream of being in a band.

 in the all night cafe
In the All-Night Café by Stuart David is out now, published by Little, Brown