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Scotland indie favourites Belle & Sebastian rounded off their 2017 with the release of EP trilogy How To Solve Our Human Problems , and this Friday they will be headlining Glasgow’s newest music venue SWG3 Galvanisers Yard with special guest Sylvan Esso.
Including singles I’ll Be Your Pilot, We Were Beautiful and Sweet Dew Lee , Belle & Sebastian’s mini-albums have offered them a new take on recording music. Since their formation in 1996, the band have released nine studio albums to date and have just finished a huge headline tour across the UK with Julien Baker. Armed with their impressive back catalogue, their forthcoming shows are sure to be a treat as they’ll also be appearing at Latitude Festival and Benicassim this summer.
We caught up with Chris Geddes to chat about their recent release and forthcoming live shows.
Your latest release was a trilogy of EPs – what made you decide to go down that route instead of an album?
The last three records that we had done, we had gone away to the States to record them and spend a few weeks in the studio with the producer. I think we just wanted work in a different way for a change. We wanted to be able to stay in Glasgow, and for the people in the band with families to be able to see their families when we’re working on new music. I think because we were working on things one song at a time, and just going into the studio to record one thing at a time, we had this idea of releasing stuff as and when it was done. It didn’t work out that way obviously, we ended up having everything recorded before the EPs came out.
Initially it was just thinking about working on things in a little bit of a different way, and then Stewart liked the idea of trying to have an A-side for each one, and then maybe put things on the B-side that were a bit more experimental. We’re not sure if it even completely worked out that way, but it was just really a way to think about approaching it.
Describe a Belle & Sebastian live show to us.
We cover a lot of ground in the shows. We always play a lot of songs going right back to the beginning of the band and new stuff as well. We always try and have quite a good dynamic range in the show. It’s not just kind of one thing, we’ll try and get people up dancing and having a good time, and also try and create intimate romance as well.
What do you love about the Scottish music scene?
There’s just always interesting stuff going on, thre’s always a continuous influx of new people into Glasgow from elsewhere, or younger people who are starting to do interesting things. It’s quite a self-sustaining scene. Not that it’s inward looking because I think people in Glasgow are really open to influence of music from all over the place, but there’s definitely a good local vibe. Local bands are always supportive of each other.
What are your plans for the summer, where can fans see you live?
Tomorrow we’ve got a show in Glasgow and then next week we’re doing Primavera Sound in Barcelona and then we’re doing a month in America. And then we’ve got some more shows in Europe through July and August, festivals in France and Spain and Germany. And we’re doing our first ever show in Russia as well. So yeah, we’re pretty busy at the moment.
What are your favourite festival moments?
Playing Glastonbury has always been really enjoyable, that’s always pretty special. The first time we played Benicassim was amazing, that was way back in 2001 maybe, that was sort of the first big festival we did. The first time we played Coachella was nice as well because it’s just such a lovely setting. I think Coachella has become something kind of different now. In the early days it had a really cool vibe and it as al about the music, and now it’s more about the fashion and Instagram these days. The first time we did it, it was really great.