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Stuart David

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Stuart David

Stuart David
David in 2010
Background information
Birth name Stuart David Black
Born (1969-12-26) 26 December 1969
Dumbarton, Scotland, UK
Genres Indie, Alternative, Electronic, spoken word
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Novelist
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, samplers, keyboards, synthesizer
Years active 1985–present
Labels Mute Records
Associated acts Looper, Belle and Sebastian

Stuart David is a Scottish musician, songwriter and novelist. He co-founded the band Belle and Sebastian (1996–2000) and then went on to front Looper (1998–present).[1][2] He is the author of the novels Nalda Said and The Peacock Manifesto, published by I.M.P. Fiction in 1999 and 2001.[3][4] His third novel, A Peacock's Tale was published by Barcelona Review in 2011.


  • Early life 1
  • Belle & Sebastian 2
  • Looper 3
  • Novels 4
    • Nalda Said 4.1
    • The Peacock Manifesto 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

David grew up in the small town of Alexandria, on the west coast of Scotland (1975-1995). The son of a toolmaker, he had a traditionally working-class upbringing, attending The Vale of Leven Academy (1981-1987). He began writing songs at the age of 14, and started his first band a year later. In 1989 he attended a year-long course in Electronic Music Recording at Clydebank Technical College, writing his first two unpublished novels when the course ended (Francis' Point, and The Bleach Field). In 1994 he joined a course for unemployed musicians in Glasgow called Beatbox, where he met Stuart Murdoch. Together they played in two early bands (Lisa Helps The Blind and Rhode Island) before forming Belle & Sebastian to make a single for the Stow College label Electric Honey. The planned single quickly became the album Tigermilk.[5]

Belle & Sebastian

David made four albums with Belle and Sebastian (Tigermilk, If You're Feeling Sinister, The Boy With The Arab Strap, and Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant) and a series of four EPs (Dog on Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane, 3.. 6.. 9.. Seconds of Light, and This Is Just a Modern Rock Song). His main role throughout his period with the band was bass player, although he also performed electric and acoustic guitar, as well as piano and vocals on a number of tracks. He was responsible for establishing the band's initial web presence, building their first website in 1996, and he wrote the songs "Winter Wooskie", "A Spaceboy Dream", "Paper Boat" and "A Century of Elvis". He also published two books documenting the band's early days: Ink Polaroids of Belle & Sebastian[6] and Little Ink Movies of Belle & Sebastian in New York.[7] He finally left Belle & Sebastian in 2000 to concentrate on his novels and the band Looper.[5]


Looper initially began as a side-project to Belle & Sebastian, a place for David to further explore the spoken-word style he had developed in the B&S songs "A Century of Elvis" and "A Spaceboy Dream". The first Looper release was on Subpop in 1998, a 7" vinyl containing two spoken word songs, "Impossible Things" and "Spaceboy Dream #3". David went on to record three albums with Looper (Up A Tree, The Geometrid and The Snare) as well as a series of three EPs, all of which mixed the original spoken-word style with more conventional pop songs and instrumentals.[8]

In late 2012 Looper released a new single "Oh, Skinny Legs", and announced a forthcoming album for 2013.[9]


Nalda Said

Nalda Said was David's first published novel. The story concerns the nameless son of a jewel thief, brought up by his aunt Nalda, who convinces the boy that he carries one of his father's hidden jewels inside his stomach. The fantasy-like narrative details his subsequent terror of and interaction with society, who he fears will discover his secret and steal his jewel.[10] The book was originally published in the UK by IMP Fiction in 1999, and has since been translated into ten languages. It was described by Dana Kennedy of the New York Times as "At once riveting and sad...uncomfortably true to life".[8][11] The Guardian added "Nalda Said is a stunning insight into reclusion, a sideways glance at conservatism and an allegory of the way the business world treats art...It's a fabulous novel." [10]

The Peacock Manifesto

The Peacock Manifesto was originally published by IMP Fiction in 2001. It tells the story of Peacock Johnson and his journey across America.[12] The character Peacock Johnson also appeared in Ian Rankin's novel A Question of Blood, after David won an auction for a fan to have a character named after themselves, with David entering under the 'Peacock Johnson' pseudonym.[13]


  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 620, 621, 839
  2. ^ Williamson, John (2000) "Made of the write stuff; Musician, songwriter, and novelist: Stuart David is under pressure to deliver", Glasgow Herald, 9 June 2000. Retrieved 6 November 2010
  3. ^ Lawrence, Jon (2001) "The Peacock ManifestoStuart David ", Drowned in Sound, 1 June 2001. Retrieved 6 November 2010
  4. ^ Battista, Anna (2001) "Mondo Peacock: Interview with Stuart David", Erasing Clouds, July 2001. Retrieved 6 November 2010
  5. ^ a b Whitelaw, Paul (2005) This Is Just A Modern Rock Story, Helter Skelter Publishing, ISBN 978-1900924986
  6. ^ David, Stuart (1997) Ink Polaroids, Treehouse Books, ISBN 978-0953285402
  7. ^ David, Stuart (1997) Little Ink Movies, Treehouse Books, ISBN 978-0953285419
  8. ^ a b "TBR Interview with Stuart David", The Barcelona Review, September–October 2002. Retrieved 6 November 2010
  9. ^ "[3]", Beats Per Minute, October 2012. Retrieved 2013-28-01
  10. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (1999) "[4]", 22 November 1999. Retrieved 4 February 2013
  11. ^ Kennedy, Dana (2003) " By Stuart DavidNalda Said", New York Times, 8 June 2003. Retrieved 6 November 2010
  12. ^ McHugh, Stuart (2001) "A peacock's feathers are well and truly ruffled The hero of Stuart David's new fictional novel insists he is real. Stuart McHugh investigates", Glasgow Herald, 12 April 2001. Retrieved 6 November 2010
  13. ^ "Musician dupes novelist Rankin", Daily Mirror, 27 December 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2010

External links

  • Official website
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