The Electric Stars live at 100 Club

Wandering up Oxford Street to the 100 Club, the infamous illuminated sign was sadly switched off, but upon entering the venue, the lights were most definitely on. The venue was quickly filling up and the DJ was clearly enjoying himself on the decks that he didn’t notice The Electric Stars’ vocalist/songwriter Jason Edge and lead guitarist/music collaborator, Andy Bee take to the stage.  John Hellier, owner of ‘Wapping Wharf’, enthusiastically introduced the band and we were treated to ‘136’ which provided a glorious intro as the rest of the band strolled on stage to take their places, with Damian Lawson on rhythm guitar, Keith (Keef) Whitehead on bass guitar and French Jonny on drums.

Jason didn’t waste any time in dancing around the stage like a kitsch fire cracker, connecting to each band member who immediately sparked off each other with a surging musical chemistry while Jonny rumbled a drumming earthquake. The energy was set as the crowd gathered while these Salford lads geared up for some serious rock and roll.

The lyrics Beautiful music for beautiful people not only ended the opening song but set the pace for 30 minutes of wild, energetic musicianship perfectly in keeping with their obvious passion for the venue. We southerners are a discerning lot, but we’re honest. We may not jump and down or clap along very much, but we rock inside, and if we go to the bar and stay there, the act has lost us, but no chance with this band, no one wanted to miss a second of their mesmerising set.

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Next up was ‘Between the Streets and the Stars’, a catchy tune with a groovy intro as Jason prowled the stage, making eye contact with the crowd who were rapidly expanding. The Electric Stars have an immediately identifiable style and the kind of measured confidence seen only in those who know instinctively they’re doing it right. Andy provided spine-tingling slide guitar, reminiscent of old school masterful chording, while Keith and Damian played with a great fluidity and resonance, neatly displaying how light-fingered and dextrous they can be with airy chords effortlessly spilling forth.

Jason introduced a backdrop to each song, he explained that ‘Blind’ is about “Love coming back to bite you in the ass”.  His dynamics swung him from a soft, almost confidential voice to punchy, strong tones, sometimes in the same sentence as he invited us in to a world of his own design, re-living every moment of every experience he sung about, literally feeling his way through his lyrics. Andy and Damian cranked out those interlocking riffs, chugs and wails while the crowd’s buzz did the rest.  The extended closure of the song was one of those ‘trip and run’ moments where the crowd cheered and applauded, then abruptly stopped as they realised there was more to come, they weren’t complaining.

‘Who’s Gonna Satisfy Me?took the pace back up with the audible magic of Jason’s vocals and vintage stylee percussion while the sexy riffs formed a bewitching union. The slide guitar scorchers, lurching drums and concentrated bass were all beautifully slotted together in a care-free fashion that displayed a keen sense of drama. Jason knocked over his mic stand as he manically caressed the stage with every stride, Andy moved aside as he wryly smiled and rolled his eyes up to Hendrix on a cloud. This band was having fun and their excitement was palpable.

‘Stardustgave us thought-provoking lyrical complexity mixed with Jason’s perfectly pitched voice, piercing through the other instruments to deliver his inimitable tone and coolness. We delighted in frenetic rhythm and bass guitar work with pulsating drums while Andy effortlessly stroked his guitar like a piece of silk. It’s wonderful music for mind and body. Their outrageously tight spontaneity never lets up. They know all the old rules but they’ve invented a couple of new ones too, which makes the game so much more interesting.


‘I Want You’ is one of the current singles from their EP on Detour Records and another tune that sticks in your head. Andy coaxed, cajoled and lived every sound he created, his notes suspended in mid-air before spinning into a pysch cartwheel. Damian played beguiling melodic rhythm guitar with Keith on staggering bass which gave a perfect union while Andy flicked styles from Page to wah-wah wipeout or zig-zagging between the Beatles and T. Rex in one verse. Jonny gave 100% on the kit. A total natural, the rhythm poured straight out onto the skins. Jason brought to mind the balls in a pinball machine, as he bounced around the stage with a fabulous eye-popping velocity. A breath-taking and exciting performance, the set was over all too soon.

As one guitar-hero said on the night “I wouldn’t like to follow them”. DC Fontana headlined and had a tough crowd to please after the previous set, but there was great north and south support for all bands including The Latter Day Saints who went on first.

The Electric Stars have panache and style and are gorgeously infectious. They’re at once commanding and sensitive, carefree and hip. They pack so much power and electric purity into their live performance that it isn’t possible, practical or indeed worthwhile to compare them with anybody else. Though, their influences are clear and commendable. They deserve to headline with a full set, and I suggest they get used to the motorways; they’ll be using them a lot from now on.

Go to their official website for further info:

Current singles on Detour Records:

‘I Want You’ – Official video
‘Stoned Again’ – Official video

Photo stills by Jim Jennings

Michelle Coomber

A child of the 50s, remembers the 60s, partied in the 70s and was hung-over in the 80s. Used to sit in David Bowie’s garden, Biba’s shop window and leaned on the jukebox in SEX, stood up occasionally. Raised in Fulham by very cool parents and a stone’s throw from The Nashville, The Greyhound, Hammersmith Odeon and Kings Road. Still mourns the Speakeasy and Wardour Street’s Marquee plus other deceased London music venues and greasy spoons. Worked for Mary Quant in the 70s and enjoyed the social scene that went with it. Was surrounded by punk squats in the mid-70s and hung out at Beggar’s Banquet basement studio watching bands drink and rehearse while avoiding electrocution. Went to Lindsay Kemp’s mime classes with punk goddess Jordan, we were both rubbish. Grew up with Paul Cook and got hit over the head by Sid’s guitar at the Speakeasy. Saw many iconic gigs back in the day including New York Dolls at Biba’s Rainbow Room and Ziggy Stardust’s farewell show at Hammersmith. Lived in NY & LA in ’79, mainly went to gigs and posed in a leather jacket. Worked in live events production for The Hippodrome in the 80s and produced and directed fringe theatre while working in film and TV in the 90s. Still dabbles in publicity work and writes scripts which gather dust. Works at Ealing Studios and recently formed a film production company. Always listening to music and reads constantly, re-learning guitar and loves all things creative. Still writes with pen and paper. Started to talk to people at bus stops.

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Originally posted 2012-03-10 19:19:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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