Monday 1 December 2008

The Starlets - Big in Japan

As readers of my film reviews may be aware, a key member of our film club was absent for several weeks at the end of October and the start of November. Her excuse was a pretty good one: she was touring Japan with her Band The Starlets. We reviewed them during their UK tour this summer. Sadly, funds did not permit a jaunt to Japan.

Others in the same position will have to be content with what has been captured on YouTube. Here, then, is Nowhere Boy:

Unfortunately YouTube is a pretty poor substitute, but it provides a reasonable flavour of the sonorities that endear the band to me. Should you want to explore further, the following videos seem to be a pretty comprehensive compilation of what is available on YouTube from the tour (but please let me know if I've missed anything). For those wanting rather better sound the band's two existing CDs are still available via their website, the really keen may be able to track down a third disc that was never released here, but only in Japan (similarly, those who can't wait for the UK release of the new album).

Surely Tomorrow You'll Feel Blue

The Devil's Eye (The Go-Betweens)

Pink Love

Give My Regards to Betty Ford, from the Takamatsu gig on 4th November (the sound on this one is pretty dire).

And a snippet of Radio Friendly from the same gig.

The last seven videos all come from the same gig at Flake Records in Osaka, which I'm told was played just hours after coming off the plane on 31st October.

(Note frontman Biff's impresive Japanese. Well, I assume it's impressive, he could be saying anything for all I know.)

Surely Tomorrow You'll Feel Blue

Rocking In A Shy Way

(Is Biff jumping up and down to make up for the apparent lack of a drummer at this particular gig?)

We'll Go Driving

I am told that there were sell-out concerts and even a gig in HMV Tokyo to celebrate the Japanese launch of the new album (those of us in the UK will have to wait for a release date that has yet to be set). All of which begs the question of why they are so big there and not here. In a world where James Blunt can achieve such fame and fortune this seems simply perverse.... wait a minute, I think I may have answered my own question.

Still, from this corner of Edinburgh (or rather the National Express train to Edinburgh from which I write this), there is a strong desire to seem more of them. Sadly, at the time of writing there are no future UK dates fixed.

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