Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch is not a candy-ass bitch…

… but that didn’t stop someone in Sacramento from hurling the phrase at the singer the last time he was in the area.

At least that’s the story that the Belle & Sebastian frontman shared last night from the stage at the Mondavi Arts Center. 

“Last time I was in Sacramento someone called me a candy-ass bitch,” Murdoch told the crowd. The incident happened while Murdoch was doing laundry–presumably between tour stops.

Murdoch shared the same story at Coachella last week so it’s not likely just some made-up stage banter–although it was unclear when, exactly,  the Scottish musician was in town to run his clothes through the spin cycle.

 

Not that Murdoch seemed particularly upset about the remark. In fact he didn’t actually make mention of it until someone in the audience yelled it out.  In any case,  he moved on with a shrug and off-handed comment about  “Fluff and fold.”

And why would he care anyway– this is a guy who’s fully comfortable in his skin, full of energy and good cheer.

Tuesday’s show at Mondavi was an engaging trip through the Glasgow band’s extensive catalog. There were plenty of numbers off of Belle & Sebastian’s latest album, the dance-ready Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, but the band also dug deep into its 19-year catalog, pulling out oldies such as “My  Wandering Days are Over” (from the 1996 album Tigermilk), “The Fox in the Snow” and “Judy and the Dream of Horses” (from 1996's If You’re Feeling Sinister), “The Boy with the Arab Strap” (from the 1998 album by the same name). “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” (from the 2003 album by the same name) and “The Blues are Still Blue” (2006's The Life Pursuit).

Murdoch led a 12-piece band–the usual B&S line-up plus a string section–during a set that included an on-stage dance party with fans that the singer hand-selected from the audience (this despite some obvious discomfort on the part of Mondavi’s security squad which seemed befuddled by their task of  having to deal with a small throng of well-behaved dancing indie rock fans).

The show wasn’t sold out (in fact the venue’s balconies were completely vacant)  but if the members of Belle & Sebastian were disappointed by this, even on the heels of just playing Coachella and Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, they didn’t let it show. Murdoch is an engaging, fun performer–the kind of guy who actually listens to the requests fans shout out. “I can’t find that one in the archives,” he said, shuffling through some papers at his feet, after one request.

Overall it was a solid show, marred only by a few sound issues–the bass throbbed uncomfortably at times and, to be honest, the whole thing could have been turned up a few notches. Just because it’s indie rock doesn’t mean it needs to be so quiet.

The spry elfin Murdoch, who seemingly didn’t stop dancing, even while seated at the piano, probably would’ve welcomed the extra volume.