Belle & Sebastian to play at ‘God Help The Girl’ premiere in August

Band will perform at Edinburgh Corn Exchange ahead of lead singer Stuart Murdoch's directorial debut

Belle & Sebastian are set to perform live at the UK premiere of the musical film, God Help The Girl next month.

The event will take place on August 16 at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and will be broadcast live to selected cinemas across Britain.

God Help The Girl, a coming-of-age story set during one Glasgow summer, is written and directed by Belle & Sebastian’s lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, and was awarded the special jury prize at the Sundance film festival earlier this year.

The soundtrack to the movie – which stars Emily Browning as Eve, a depressive who absconds from hospital to pursue a singing career – was first released in 2009, and the three original singers from the album will join Belle & Sebastian onstage in Edinburgh.

The cast – including Olly Alexander (Great Expectations) and Hannah Murray (Skins, Game of Thrones) – will also be in attendance.

Speaking of his directorial debut, Murdoch told NME: “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 onto the songs; they were my blueprint.”

God Help The Girl was filmed in Glasgow in 2012, after raising the finances through Kickstarter.

“Crowd-funding was a last-resort for us, after all other doors had shut in our faces, so I’m glad fans came through for us,” said Murdoch. “At the time, it was a rush watching the total going up. It’s been a good experience, but you have to be prepared to do some work. Over the last couple of years, we’ve spent a lot of time and effort catching up with people, ensuring they’ve got their T-shirts, their posters and organising for them to attend the premiere. I’ve still got to do a guided tour of the locations around Glasgow, driving people in a mini-bus.”

Members of Belle & Sebastian – who picked up the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at the NME Awards with Austin, Texas in February this year – also appear in the film, in various cameo roles.

“They’ve all been super-enthusiastic,” said Murdoch. “All of them were involved. Belle & Sebastian were the backing band for the music which was done way in advance, Stevie [Jackson, guitarist] was the music co-ordinator on the film, and Beans [Chris Geddes, keyboardist] put in a load of his own money and acted as a producer, so I definitely wanted to cast them in funny little roles.”

“Stevie told me that when he saw a rough draft of the film, the story of the fictional band being put together, reminded him of the early days of Belle & Sebastian, and the whole summer we got together. I hadn’t realised it throughout making it, but it ended up being accidentally autobiographical in a way.”

Belle & Sebastian are due to release their ninth studio album this year, after recording in Atlanta Georgia, with producer Ben Allen (Bombay Bicycle Club). “It’s a very different kind of record to anything we’ve made before,” said Murdoch. “A couple of the songs have been influenced by Eurovision – you can definitely hear a hint of that in there – and a disco element was brought in the door by Stevie. It’s more dance and rhythm orientated than anything we’ve done before.”

God Help The Girl will be released nationwide from August 22.