Release Information

UK release date: June 3rd, 2002
Highest UK Chart Position: 26
Highest US Chart Position: 150 (Billboard “The Billboard 200” chart)
Catalogue numbers: CD – JPRCD014 / LP – JPRLP014


Dervilagh CooperMurray Fergusson, Cheryl Crockett, Gillian Risi, Alastair Savage, Mary Ward, Liza Webb (Violin), George Cuthbertson, Joel Hunter, Jacqui Penfold (Viola), Susan Dance, Jacqui Sharples (Cello), Gary Grochla, Roy Hunter (Double Bass), Andrea Kuypers (Flute), Kenneth Broom (Saxophone), Jenny Drivers (Tenor Saxophone), Catriona MacKay (Harp) and Ronan Breslin (Bass trombone).

Produced by Tony Doogan and the band.
Recorded at Water Music (NJ), Magic Studios (NYC) and CaVa (Glasgow).
Engineers: Geoff Allen, Robin Rankin & Dave Paterson (CaVa).
Assistant Engineers: Willie Deans & Michael Bannister (CaVa), Tom Unish (Water Music), Juan Garcia (Magic Shop).
Mastered by Frank Arkwright at The Townhouse.
Design by Devine Inc.

Neil Robertson (The Gaffer), Katrina House (Press & Merchie), Sarah & Liz Liew (Cover Stars), Mark Jones (Cover Star & Dreamer of Dreams), Kay Heath & Matt Wills (The Workers), Stef & Jo D’Andrea (The Directors), Charlie Cross & Claire Taylor (The Touring Strings), David & Liz Elliot (costumes), Tina Jennings (acupuncturist), Eddy & Anna Farquar (for their kitchen), Susan Jacobs (Film Music Supervisor), Ronnie (for his Band Supplies) and Lyle Hysen (Matador Records).

Belle et Sebastien is the title of a novel and a film series by Mme Cecile Aubry: the artists would like to thank Mme Cecile Aubry for having given them permission to take on this name.

Belle et Sebastian est le titre d’un roman et d’une serie de films de Madame Cecile Aubry: les artistes remercient Madame Cecile Aubry de les avoir autorises a emprunter ce nom.


THIS record features music written for the Todd Solondz movie ‘Storytellling’. As some of the group admired Mr Solondz’s work in the past, when he expressed the desire for us to write some music for his new film we immediately made our way to New York City armed with high hopes, dreams of artistic endeavour and a copy of the ‘Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid’ soundtrack.

However, once esconced in the process of film scoring not only our fate but our true nature seemed to emerge. Soon we were behaving like veteran hacks composing seventies style sit com jingles on demand and churning out songs with lyrics referring to the action of the plot, a bit like the Colonel’s staff songwriters in the Sixties who hacked out all those appalling Elvis Presley soundtracks (althought to be fair everyone of those contained a classis e.g. ‘Rock A Hula Baby’ on ‘Blue Hawaii’ but this is hardly the place for a critique of the King).

So there we were, yoked up to the TV monitor with them big American Movie people cracking the whip. But to be honest this was no bad thing and working within the framework of a collaborative endeavour is incredibly satisfying even if the pleasure is sometimes garnished with the occassional disappointment e.g. the movie consisted of two halves and originally we were commissed to write the second half of the movie, then at some point were were asked to do the whole thing (whoopee) but then later on still we found ourselves back to just the second half. Oh well, too many tunes and not enough celluloid time. Fair enough in my opinion; the Director has got to get his vision down after all. Anyway, as a result, not eveyrthing got used.

‘Fiction’ and its variations including ‘Freak’ were written for the first half of the movie and are included in extended form for your listening pleasure. We had three goes at writing a song for the finishing credits, each on focusing on a different character in the film. These were ‘Wandering Alone’, which refers to aspects of Consuelo’s imagined family history, ‘Big John Shaft’, which was written as an ode to Todd himself (guess which one he picked?).

‘Black and White Unite’ is not so much representative of the movie but more that bittersweet, slightly decaying summer feeling in the air when we were putting this record together (the tune however is based on the leftover theme from the film). ‘I Don’t Want To Play Football’ comes from the second half although the scene was deleted in the final cut. All the other tunes are featured in some form and are adapted here for the LP format.

And that’s that. The film has been released, the reviews have been writtenn, and Todd has moved on to pastures new. This record contains parts and fragments of the story he came to tell but if there is a story on this record, it should be regarded primarily as our own. I suppose it’s time for the group to be moving on also, although in leaving I have to be honest in say that in my view ‘Storytelling’ is a great film and that this is a cracking record, maybe the best one we’ve made in a while but look… it’s just my opinion and… what do I know?

Stevie, FEB 2002

IN February 2001, we flew to New York to record some music for the Todd Solondz film ‘Storytellling’. We had already recorded some ideas in Glasgow before we went across. Todd kept saying, ‘I love it all, but it’s not right for the movie’. We just didn’t know what was right for the movie.

Figuring out what is right can be a long, but enjoyable, process. Todd told us that the music he wanted to link some scenes should be the audio representation of a housewife stroking here favourite soap flakes box.

What ended up being right for the movie amounted to 6 minutes of music. What wasn’t right we developed, and alll of it is on this LP.

Mick, DEC 2001

Dialogues included:

Conan, Early Letterman
Jersey’s Where It’s At
Class Rank
Mandingo Cliche