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Barcelona Bookshop Hosts Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch

Written by Garry Gallon

A Special Presentation of The Celestial Café, 27th July

Do you ever daydream about sitting in a meadow full of daisies, the sun beaming on the golden grass, and you strumming a bittersweet song on your guitar? If so, you have something in common with Belle and Sebastian’s frontman Stuart Murdoch. The leader of the Glasgow indie darlings has spent a long career writing songs about those fleeting moments of life that make it so sweet and sad. After almost 20 years of life in Belle and Sebastian, the pop auteur decided to release his first novel.

Photo by Christoph! via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo by Christoph! via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

The Celestial Café is an autobiographical look into the artist’s life in the period between 2002-2006 and, true to form, he focuses on the small details. Murdoch examines the events of his daily life: rehearsals with the band, concerts, the discovery of new bands, downtime from touring, bike rides, football matches and his reflections on life in the moments before a sunset.

After having to cancel a European tour in 2015, including two Barcelona gigs, for health reasons, Murdoch returns to the city on July 27th for a free eventa special presentation of The Celestial Café in the Sant Antoni bookstore/cultural space Llibreria Calders. He will speak alongside Asier Leoz, doctor and professor at the University of Deusto and contributor to the magazine Rockdelux.

Related Article: Free summer activities in Barcelona

An Eclectic Career

Photo credit: Dbl90 via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Dbl90 via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Fans can expect a typically reflective, intelligent peek into Murdoch’s career. Describing his biggest influences as Morrissey and Nick Drake, he formed Belle and Sebastian in 1996, becoming almost instantly acclaimed, and proceeded to make what he terms as “sad songs” until a 2006 pop reinvention. He then ventured into filmmaking territory with 2014’s God Help The Girl, starring Hannah Murray from Game of Thrones. The Glasgow-set film is a bittersweet love letter to the city’s music scene and the carefree days of youth, subjects obviously close to Murdoch’s heart.

Now he is testing that distinctive voice out in literature. Although the book, adapted from his own journals, covers the recording and touring of the Dear Catastrophe Waitress and The Life Pursuit’s albums, Murdoch describes himself as only “26% rock star”. He further claims that 2002-2006 were “particularly un-rock and roll” years and “very light on the subjects of drug taking, orgies and general debauchery.” Ever the humble prescient, Murdoch added that he wanted his fans to know this fact “so that your precious time and money are not wasted”.

The event

Stuart Murdoch Presents The Celestial Café

July 27th, 7.30 p.m. 

Llibreria Calders, Passatge Pere Calders, 9; Metro Sant Antoni.

About the author

Garry Gallon

A Scotsman living in Barcelona who loves the culture of the city, and finding out about what it has to offer.

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