Belle & Sebastian frontman now backing Yes vote

Stuart Murdoch says he has changed his mind about independence as a result of the debate. Picture: PA
Stuart Murdoch says he has changed his mind about independence as a result of the debate. Picture: PA
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BELLE & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch says he has changed his mind about independence as a result of the debate and he now backs Scotland going it alone.

The Scottish musician - who was born in Ayr and lives in Glasgow - had previously backed the continued union, but he now thinks an independent Scotland would be for the best.

Murdoch said: “I used to be a real non-nationalist, I don’t like nationalism as a thing in itself. And I was pretty much pro-union, because I don’t like the idea of leaving people in the north of England to have a right-leaning Government forever more, which is what would possibly happen.

But he went on: “I must admit in the past year, since there’s been this live debate, I’ve come off the fence and swung the other way.

“I just think it’s time that Scotland became an independent country, for political reasons. We might actually show England the way.

“England seems to be a little bit lost - obsessed with immigration, obsessed with anti-European sentiment, all these negative things.

“Maybe it’s just time to cast off and do our own thing.”

The 45-year-old singer-songwriter has just made his debut as a film director with God Help The Girl.

The film - which was award the special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year - will premiere live in UK cinemas via satellite on Saturday August 16 from Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange, followed by a live performance from Belle and Sebastian.

The film - which stars Sucker Punch’s Emily Browning, Game of Thrones actress Hannah Murray and Olly Alexander - is about a young woman called Eve who is being treated for an eating disorder and finds music as a way of helping her cope with her emotional problems.

Murdoch revealed he had always had an “overwhelming urge” to make a film, and had taken inspiration from his own experience battling ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) and how music had helped him through.

He said: “I sort of thought fancifully, maybe I can make a film with the band or something.

“But it wasn’t until I got this character Eve, came along and she started singing songs and I started quickly writing down what she was saying and I thought ‘Okay, I can string these together and make a musical.”

Murdoch added: “The core of my creativity came form years and years of when I first got ill with a thing called ME. That’s where the character of Eve came from and some of the situations she finds herself in.

“But it would be very difficult to make a film about ME because it would be the most boring film in the world because nothing happens.

“So we gave Eve an eating disorder and put her in a mental hospital, but I knew where she’s coming from.”

The Belle & Sebastian frontman has been working on a new album with the band but said he may make more films in the future.

He said: “I’m very lucky that I can step back into the rock and roll side of things, and that will give me a bit of perspective and maybe I’ll make another film some day.”

God Help The Girl will be released in cinemas on August 22 2014, with tickets for the premiere to go on sale on Monday, July 14, at