Belle and Sebastian - What To Look For In The Summer

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Belle and Sebastian have finally acquiesced to long-standing fan requests and have released an album of their live recordings. What To Look For In Summer takes multiple tracks from their acclaimed 2019 tour as well as including all three sets from the Boaty Weekender festival which took place on a cruise ship. The result is a charming showcase of the Scottish septet's career so far.

With the distinct lack of live music on offer in 2020, What To Look For In Summer is a lovely, joyful record that takes us back to those heady days of festivals, travel and a more carefree existence.

Belle and Sebastian are always a treat to see live and always give enchanting and fully-rounded performances, 23 tracks were hand-picked for the album which showcases Belle and Sebastian’s extraordinary body of work including ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’ (taken from the 1998 album of the same name) which has become a bit of a mainstay at Belle and Sebastian gigs.

Drawing inspiration from other live albums such as ‘Yessongs’ by Yes and ‘Live and Dangerous’ by Thin Lizzy, the band have curated the best recordings from both the festival and the tour, but this album is so much more than just a live version of the ‘best of Belle and Sebastian’. It is both a homage to their fans and a well-thought out recap of the band’s two and a half decade history.

Some of the tracks included may surprise fans, but it’s a pleasant surprise as it’s not exactly what you would expect. ‘Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John’ is a triumph with Sarah Martin taking over the vocals originally sung by Norah Jones.

There is something for everyone on this album, there’s plenty of tracks from the early days of the band ‘Seeing Other People’ and ‘My Wandering Days Are Over’ from their brilliant debut album Tigermilk as well as some recent additions such as ‘We Were Beautiful’.

‘Wrapped Up In Books’, ‘Nice Day For A Sulk’ and ‘Beyond The Sunrise’ are absolute standouts and showcase the bands impressive musicality and song writing prowess. ‘What To Look For In Summer’ is an enchanting compendium of the bands live work and is an ideal accompaniment to spirit you away to those carefree summer days of enjoying live music.

Heavyweight double vinyl produced by Matador Records in 2020.

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