In the All-Night Café: A Memoir of Belle and Sebastian’s Formative Year


“One afternoon in 1994, I had an idea.” So begins Stuart David’s charming, evocative memoir about the indie pop band Belle and Sebastian.

Determined to make his living writing stories and songs, Stuart had spent several years scraping by on the dole in his small, industrial hometown. Then he had the fateful idea to learn bass guitar, and to head for Glasgow in search of likeminded artists.

In the All-Night Café describes his fortuitous meeting with the group’s cofounder Stuart Murdoch in a course for unemployed musicians. It tells of their adventures in two early incarnations of Belle and Sebastian and culminates in the recordingof their celebrated debut album, Tigermilk.

This portrait of the group and its origins will resonate with anyone who has put together—or thought of putting together—a band. It is a story of a group of friends who wanted to create a different kind of music, and how—against all expectations—they succeeded. 

Written with wit, affection, and a novelist’s observant eye, In the All-Night Café brings to life the early days of this most enigmatic and intriguing of bands.

Meet the Author

220px-StuartAuthorPic_warmStuart David is a Scottish musician, songwriter and novelist. He co-founded the band Belle and Sebastian with Stuart Murdoch in 1995, and made four albums with them. He then went on to form Looper with his wife Karn. He is the author of the novels Nalda Said and The Peacock Manifesto, published by I.M.P. Fiction in 1999 and 2001. His third novel, A Peacock’s Tale was published by Barcelona Review in 2011.

He is currently writing a memoir for Little, Brown- titled “In the All-night Cafe”, chronicling Belle and Sebastian’s formative year. It is scheduled for release in May 2015.