Belle And Sebastian performing their How To Solve Our Human Problems Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Saturday 10th March 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Belle And Sebastian returned to Rock City last night to play before a sell out crowd and brought their own brand of timeless indie pop with them.

Having garnered a reputation for being sensitive underperformers, this band has been around since 1996 when they met at a Glasgow programme for unemployed musicians and then went on to win Best Breakthrough Act at the 1999 Brit Awards with their debut album Tigermilk.

The group’s six full time members were joined on stage by two other touring members as they functioned like a well oiled machine complete with Stevie Jackson’s guitar and harmonica and Sarah Martin’s violin and dreamy backing vocals on a set list that was filled with old favourites and some new songs.

As they opened with Nobody’s Empire this crowd showed their immediate appreciation. Trying to keep up with them was hard, but front man Stuart Murdoch, with his warm vocals and engaging chatter, proved to be an excellent nucleus.

Touring to promote their tenth album, How To Solve Our Human Problems, made up of three quietly released EP’s, they showcased new songs Show Me The Sun with its squealing guitars and celebratory chorus, the intense We Were Beautiful and Sweet Dew Lee which was brilliantly led by Jackson.

And even a technical hitch when the power went off was only a minor blip as the first chords to I’m A Cuckoo restored the momentum. There was the long overdue live return for the dance epic Stay Loose and their fans grooved to the up tempo and jangly Photo Jenny.

With no expectations aside from Boy With The Arab Strap, they delivered a varied set list which included We Rub The School and The Loneliness Of A Middle Distance Runner before finishing with Legal Man.

Returning for a rousing encore of The Party Line and Dog On Wheels, Belle And Sebastian are still one of the most thoughtful and compelling bands out there.