A/V Room









Belle and Sebastian get wrapped up in books

Story: Jack Foley

BELLE & Sebastian bounce back from the biggest hit of their career (I’m A Cuckoo, No. 14) with a new epic single, matched as a double
A-side with the catchiest song from their highly catchy recent hit album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress.

Books, comprising Your Cover’s Blown and Wrapped Up In Books acts as, er, bookends to Belle & Sebastian model 2004, taking in the
quintessential candy-coated bittersweet pop of Wrapped Up In Books, at one end, and the more expansive episodic, Your Cover’s Blown’ at the other.

Both display a band hitting new heights of form (and content).

In many ways, You Cover’s Blown picks up where the Dear Catastrophe Waitress album left off, taking up the intriguing threads left by closing track, Stay Loose.

In the context of the album, Stay Loose sounded like a thrilling anomaly, a new, deeper registered Stuart Murdoch pitched somewhere betwixt The Clash’s Mick Jones near eponymous Stay Free and Up The Junction-era Squeeze.

With the arrival of Your Cover’s Blown, however, it’s beginning to sound like a new direction.

Your Cover’s Blown, a six-minute, three-movement bona fide rock epic
in the old style, starts as an slinky, etiolated funk work-out, borrowing from the Doobie Brothers, before mutating into surf-guitar-meets-Love-at-the-rodeo section, and then finally settling its account as a
downbeat sing-a-long.

What it indicates in terms of B&S’s future is perhaps too early to tell; what is clear, however, is that it’s one of the best things the band have yet done.

The video for Wrapped Up In Books, meanwhile, features Alexandra Klobouk, the proud winner of the international search for the ultimate Catastrophe Waitress run from a German radio station.

Sadly, the owner of the Berlin restaurant where she worked couldn’t see her coronation, as the indie business opportunity it so bviously was and sacked her on the spot.

Still, she makes a great B&S gurl in the grand tradition thereof, and can surely look forward to a bright future ironing in the buff or, as here, wearing glasses in a suitably book-ish-yet-hot way.

Elsewhere, the Belles have confirmed their appearance at Glastonbury as well as huge summer shows for both London and their home city of Glasgow.

For the two shows at Somerset House, London, on June 17 and 18, they will come in the company of The Shins.

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