The Stars Band – We Are Stars, We Think Differently (CD Album)
This CD release from The Stars Band does exactly what it says on the tin; it thinks differently.
Talented but as yet unknown local musicians and singers have put their own stamp on some classic covers alongside some self-penned tunes, to produce a compelling blend of tunes and songs that are always interesting and at times astonishingly good for such an inexperienced bunch.
It’s an unusual album, a true labour of love, and is the result of over two years of hard work. It’s been produced as a spin-off of the Sheffield-based Under The Stars project, who organise music workshops and nightclubs for adults with learning difficulties. It was set up in response to requests for a proper grown-up night out, not just one where someone decides all they need is pop and crisps, and where they could meet up with their peers and be themselves.
The album is a mix of musical influence, from punk to new-wave, along with the performers’ life experiences and insights, and in some ways also represents the journey made by those who make up the band.
There are some really fine performances here. There’s a cover of Radiohead’s Creep, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else have a go at and an awesome version of Fascist Groove Thing. I also loved the ska-version of the James Bond them. The ‘original’ of this was itself a cover from the early days of Jamaican music the Ska-talites but the version here is a cracker.
The song ‘I Didn’t Mean It’ is filled with real feelings of regret at hurting someone who you love. We’ve all been there, you hurt the ones you love the most, just because they’re the most available target, and the emotion of the line, “sometimes I love you, but not always, sometimes you pick on me, I never understood your ways” is a touching reflection on many people’s lives.
To mark the release, on 30th May the Stars Band will perform the music at the Leadmill in their first headline gig at a major venue, with support from Mike Hughes and the Flaming Skulls, Plus DJ sets from Heaven 17 and I Monster.
It will be available on the same day from iTunes, and a limited run of 1,000 physical copies will be available from Balance on Devonshire Street. In a clever marketing ploy, there are 13 individual versions to collect, with each band member appearing in portrait form on the album cover. I reckon there are a few local mums and dads with a pretty good idea what they’ll be getting for an early Christmas present.