Concert review: Don't call Belle and Sebastian twee, they sure know how to rock a stage

On Saturday at Fort Canning, Scottish indie veterans Belle And Sebastian proved they are unfairly tagged "twee" - they staged one heck of a party at multi-act gig The Gathering.

Towards the end of their 90-minute headlining set, frontman Stuart Murdoch and company summoned an army of fans up on stage to boogie down with them while they ran through bouncy renditions of The Boy With The Arab Strap and Legal Man.

Murdoch, in porkpie hat and electric blue pants, led the extended live line-up of 13 musicians, complete with a string section, with a youthful zeal. He was a terrible dancer, all awkward hand and leg movements but the man was having fun and obviously did not care what anyone thought.

Obviously in a genial mood that night, he seemed genuinely surprised and pleased when he requested for the lights to shine on the audience, and saw 4,000 fans who were happily cheering the band on.

The day-long show kicked off in the mid-afternoon heat with local troubadour Charlie Lim, who was followed by a series of other indie acts that include American outfit Tune-Yards, homegrown indie-pop act Pleasantry and Canadian indie-electronic artist Caribou, who took to the stage just before show-closers Belle and Sebastian.

Murdoch was well aware that they were the most seasoned act on the bill, and joked about their age and how their debut album was almost two decades old, which would be older than some in the audience.

Their setlist was no mere nostalgia fest, though, comprising much material from the new album, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance rather than than cater to the adult fans in the crowd who were probably into the band from the first album, Tigermilk.

The funky, dance-oriented tracks that sticks out on that record worked amazingly well live. The Party Line, in particular, came across as a fun romp with its sexy groove and Murdoch's processed vocals.

Guitarist Stevie Jackson had his moments too, taking on lead vocals on another new track, Perfect Couples, as Murdoch furiously banged on his bongos.

Predictably, those lucky enough to be up on stage with Murdoch and band were eager to whip out their phones to take selfies and grab an Instagram moment. But the singer would have none of it, asking them several times to put their phones away and to just enjoy the shindig.

"No more pictures, it's boring," he proclaimed and commanded them to do some "disciplined dancing" instead.

And that is the whole point of going to see a band live isn't it? To be in the moment and just absorb the music, especially as a stellar group like Belle and Sebastian are playing it right in front of you.