LIVE REVIEW: Belle and Sebastian, Buxton Opera House

editorial image

Nearly 20 years since their debut album Tigermilk set the bar for a certain brand of bookish indie, Belle and Sebastian say they’re still waiting for the inter-band bitterness that’s hampered other veteran acts to set in.

But frontman Stuart Murdoch could well be the saviour of political polling if the group ever hits the buffers. While introducing The Cat With The Cream - the Scots-born, and pro-independence, songwriter’s sour reflection on his dissatisfaction with the Coalition - he claims to have called the Conservatives’ election victory on Twitter.

Either way it proves that if things are sunny between the six band members, there’s still a bit of bite lurking in their subject matter.

Meanwhile a string ensemble adds lushness among an expanded, 12-piece live lineup, and while the disco direction of latest album Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance stays mostly untouched, audience members seize the invitation to demonstrate their moves on stage during two numbers.

Dog on Wheels and We Rule The School are particularly impressive highlights of a freewheeling setlist which demonstrates the breadth of the formidable B&S songbook.