For a band which has spent much of its career thus far frantically shunning the limelight, 1999 is turning into a mightily peculiar year for [a]Belle & Sebastian[/a]....

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The Best Of: 1985-1999 / I Sing The Body Electro

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The Best Of: 1985-1999 / I Sing The Body Electro

For a band which has spent much of its career thus far frantically shunning the limelight, 1999 is turning into a mightily peculiar year for [a]Belle & Sebastian[/a]. Barely three months in, they’ve already won a Brit, organised their own indie festival and pissed off a generation of vinyl junkies by reissuing ‘Tigermilk’. Now – Gawd bless us – come the solo projects…

Stuart David‘s Looper album recently sneaked out of the traps, and now it’s the turn of Isobel Campbell to inflict her gently glum ponderings upon us. Recorded in the space of a week, ‘The Green Fields Of Foreverland…’ is fundamentally half-an-hour’s worth of homespun cosiness. With gallivanting [I]Black Beauty[/I]-style frills, B&S chums tinkling on the xylophone and tunes like toasted muffins on a cold winter’s eve, this isn’t so much a record as a glowing acoustic-based advert for the Scottish tourist board.

True, ‘Weathershow’ charges about with a certain feistiness, and ‘Evensong’ has a touch of [I]Carry On[/I] sauce about it. Yet Isobel and her seethingly cutie vocals are frequently to be found in more fragile quarters, fretting about life’s little mysteries and dabbling in sugary sweet sorrows like ‘Enchanted Place’, ‘Dirty Snow For The Broken Ground’ and, of course, ‘Tree Lullaby’. [I]Nice[/I].

Next month: Stuart Murdoch releases his pipe-smoking solo opus, ‘No Cigarette Packet Required’.

We bet.