Belle & Sebastian

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By Mary Sledd

Belle & Sebastian

Stubb's, Wednesday, March 15

There's that old saw about time flying when you're having fun; a recent science-oriented radio program revealed that time moves more slowly when you're moving fast as compared to standing still. That must be why Belle & Sebastian's extended set at last night's Matador showcase seemed to last slightly longer than the blink of an eye. Getting off to a belated start – singer Stuart Murdoch blamed "so many queues!" for the delay – the Glasgow septet eased into their set with the quiet, fraught "The State I Am In," from Tigermilk. The nattily dressed Murdoch, clad in a tiny bowler and an ice-cream-man striped jacket, then led the band into a block of songs from the group's new release, The Life Pursuit, including the bouncy, sassy "Sukie in the Graveyard." Before bopping around the stage like a hyperactive four-year-old, Murdoch explained that this was "yet another song about imaginary girls – we've built our career on it, so why stop now?" Murdoch and fellow vocalists Sarah Martin and Stevie Jackson have an easygoing stage presence, interacting flirtatiously with each other, playing childishly with their instruments, or giggling at each other's ridiculously nerdy dancing. The energy of the set never wavered, even on the slower, more reflective songs. It's a shame they couldn't play all night.

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