My first encounter with Stellastar came when they supported The Raveonettes at King Tut's back in 2003. I was not expecting anything great as the previous couple of times at the Wah Wah Hut the support acts had been abysmal. Young People being a prime example of New York hype over substance, absolute pish and if anyone ever hits a steel pot with a drum stick over the top of a microphone again I will be forced to resort to violence. So when Shawn Christensen and the rest of the band took to the stage, things did not bode well as they looked like painfully hip NY art school types and I expected some sub strokes type thing or even worse. What I got was a sound that reeled me in from the first chords until they left the stage nearly 30 minutes later.
There was something naggingly familiar about the vocals and especially the guitar which I couldn't put my finger on until later, the guitar playing was pure Stuart Adamson. Sure this was derivative of a lot of 80s indie but it was done well and the band looked as though they were enjoying themselves. Even my mate, possibly the most cynical person I know had to concede that they were good.
Since then I have seen Stellastarr twice, a further time at King Tut's and at the ABC 2. Both shows were during the tours to promote the albums Stellastarr and Harmonies For The Haunted. At the ABC gig the guy standing next to me said "That's the best tenner I have ever fucking spent", seemingly somebody had recommended the band to him and he had gone on the off chance having never heard them. I had to concur that they were great value for money and were better that time than on the previous 2 occassions.
Stellastarr are due to release their third album Civilized on the 7th of June and hopefully will be touring the UK later in the year. Details can be found here.
Stellastarr - Somewhere Across Forever
Stellastarr - Damn This Foolish Heart