NME.COM can reveal the band are working with the man who produced Petula Clark's classic 'Downtown'...

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN have been working in the recording studio with the producer of PETULA CLARK’s ’60s smash hit ‘DOWNTOWN’, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.

The Glasgow-based group – who scored a Number 15 hit with their last single, ‘Legal Man’ – recorded two new songs this week in the city’s CaVa studios with Mike Hurst, who produced the Grammy-winning classic Clark single, which in 1964 topped the US charts and went to Number Two in Britain.

A spokesperson for the band told NME.COM: “They recorded two new songs, which don’t have names yet. We approached Mike Hurst, and he was up for it. Everyone’s a fan of ‘Downtown’.”

Hurst, who lives in London, was a member of Dusty Springfield’s backing band The Springfields and also produced records by Manfred Mann.

Describing the new songs as “pop songs,” the spokesperson said that the intention had been to record a single, but the band were still undecided what to do with them. They have another new track which was recorded last year while they were doing their XFM charity Christmas compliation album track, ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’.”.

Speaking on the band’s website – [url=] – frontman Stuart Murdoch said recently: “Stevie’s (

Jackson)got a cracking number, so we’re going to thrash it out at the


The spokesperson said that a single could well be on the cards before the summer, an album this year is “unlikely”.

He added: “They haven’t really decided what all the stuff is going to be used for. They were in the studio for a week and only finished on Wednesday. No decisions will be made until Chris (Geddes, keyboard player) returns from Japan, where he’s touring with Teenage Fanclub for the next fortnight.”

In related Belle And Sebastian news, Stevie Jackson, Richard Colburn and Chris Geddes are in the process of recording a new album with their associated project V-Twin, who released a compilation of their first four singles through Domino in November, called ‘Free The Twin’. Stevie has also been working with The Bill Wells Trio, who released an album, ‘Incorrect Practice’ through Geographic in December, while several of the members of Belle And Sebastian appear on the latest Future Pilot AKA album ‘Tiny Waves, Mighty Sea’, also released through Geographic. As previously reported on NME.COM, frontman Stuart Murdoch sings on the song ‘Om Namah Shivaya’.