Where's the warm weather when you need it?
From seemingly nowhere, Scottish indie legends Belle and Sebastian have become a major name on the festival circuit. Aside from this main stage spot at Wireless, they're scheduled to play on the main stage at the Carling Weekend at the end of August.
This set was dominated by their recent album, 'The Life Pursuit', their seventh and strongest to date, and it demonstrates a real confidence about the band, something which translates effortlessly onto their stage performance. OK, so Stuart Murdoch isn't the greatest at addressing a crowd and it's very difficult to hear what he says if you're not right in front of the stage, but to use an obvious cliché, the band let their music do the talking.
They ran through a set which mixed mainstream indie pop, seventies style rock and an experimental edge which made sure this wasn't just another collection of Belle and Sebastian songs played live. 'Funny Little Frog' appeared early in the set, and made sure any late arrivers were moving with the majority of those already in position. Other highpoints included 'I'm a Cuckoo' and the brilliant t-rex like 'Blues Are Still Blue', both getting the biggest reaction of the set.
Much of 'The Life Pursuit' is a strong summer, indie pop record, which makes it perfect for early evening festival slots so it was a shame that it wasn't warmer when they took to the stage. Their next single, 'White Collar Boy', continues the feel good theme, and was an excellent way to close the set.
Belle and Sebastian are more of a mainstream act than they've ever been, but there's still quirkiness about them which means if they ever properly hit the big time it will be a co-incidence rather than by design. Their music isn't to everyone's taste, but the large crowd they drew justified their position one down from headliners The Strokes.