Gary Flockhart: Belle & Sebastian go into movies

Stuart Murdoch. 'Picture Stephen Mansfield
Stuart Murdoch. 'Picture Stephen Mansfield
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WITH the Fringe going at full pelt there’s no shortage of entertainment around town right now.

For indie fans, though, Belle & Sebastian’s gig at the Corn Exchange next Saturday is far and away August’s must-see event.

As announced only recently, the Scottish indie legends are to appear at the UK premiere of their award-winning film, God Help The Girl.

The film will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK, and following the screening the band will play a selection of songs from their astonishing back catalogue.

God Help The Girl, described as a coming-of-age story set during one Glasgow summer, is written and directed by Belle & Sebastian main man Stuart Murdoch, and it scooped the special jury prize at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.

The soundtrack to the movie – which stars Sucker Punch actress Emily Browning as Eve, a depressive who absconds from a mental institution to pursue a singing career – was first released in 2009, and the three original singers from the album will join the band on stage in Edinburgh.

Speaking ahead of the event, Murdoch says, “I still feel like a phoney. Even though my Sundance award arrived yesterday – a big massive glass paperweight of a thing – I still don’t feel like a film director.

“It was a real baptism of fire. I just clung on to the songs – they were my blueprint.”

Later in the year, Belle & Sebastian, who were named as the Best Scottish Band of All Time after a public vote in 2005, are due to release their ninth studio album, and Murdoch says it’s different to anything the band have done before.

“A couple of the songs have been influenced by Eurovision – you can definitely hear a hint of that in there. It’s more dance and rhythm orientated than anything we’ve done before.”

Meanwhile, tickets for next week’s event can be bought via www.edinburghcornexchange.com