Belle and Sebastian

Coachella Music Festival

May 02, 2004


Belle and Sebastian was whimsical, happy, surreal, cute, odd, sad, pretty, unsettling, and good. The seven-piece Chamber Pop band from Glasgow played outdoors in the sun Sunday afternoon at the Coachella Music Festival.

Vocalist/guitarist Stuart Murdoch was exuberant as he led the band through many songs off of their new album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, including "Step Into My Office, Baby," "You Don't Send Me," and "If You Find Yourself Caught In Love." The show was a success because the band was able to re-create the orchestral beauty of their recordings. They had at least a trumpet and violin up there with requisite instruments.

Murdoch's voice was heavenly, while his lyrics were very earnest. Frighteningly, so, actually. On the band's website, Murdoch wrote in his diary about the Coachella show: "I feel very at home up in front of that many people on a sunny day." As evidence, between songs Murdoch told a couple of funny anecdotes, and he asked audience members to dance onstage during "Roy Walker," which had to be one of the happiest, most freewheelin' songs ever about being lonely and wondering about a lover.

An audience member requested a song off of their second album, If You're Feeling Sinister, and the band complied. I was coming off my feet in joy, and the band looked like they were having fun.

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