HALF MOON, PUTNEY - LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 2020
A few years ago Starlite Campbell released their first album together ‘Blueberry Pie’ and received a lot more than a smattering of good reviews, even being nominated for a Blues Award.
Last night they made a rare live appearance in London (they were based in Isle Of Man and now Germany) and played a couple of terrific sets at the Half Moon in Putney that got my hunger for the new album (due in October) wound up to the point of salivating.
The four – Simon Campbell on guitars, Suzy Starlite on bass, Steve Gibson on drums and guest Josh Phillips (Procul Harum) on Hammond & electric piano – played one of the tightest sets I’ve heard in years. The rhythm section of Starlite & Gibson hold the centre brilliantly, allowing Simon Campbell all the room he needs for his extensive soloing.
As a live experience, they communicated with the crowd, made jokes and clearly enjoyed playing in front of a very appreciative crowd. The Half Moon allows a very intimate relationship between band and audience and I’ve seen a few bands come a cropper thereby staying aloof from the crowd – not so Starlite Campbell, they made the crowd a part of the band from the off.
The very heart of their music is Blues but theirs is a very individual take and they manage to stay away from the usual clichés while still being instantly recognizable as a British Blues band.
The opening numbers were from Simon’s solo album ‘ThirtySix’ and got the crowd well warmed up for a few tracks from ‘Blueberry Pie’ and a terrific version of ‘Heart of Stone’ before introducing a new number ‘Said So’ which will be on the upcoming ‘Language Of Curiosity’. Simon Campbell’s guitar playing all through was strong and his use of a venerable Echoplex FX box and a Theremin added some intrigue to ‘Said So’.
The second set included an acoustic number ‘Hey Girl (What Do Ya Say)’ which is from a duo album they will be releasing in 2021 as well as more numbers from ‘Language of Curiosity’ and from the sounds of the new numbers, the new album should be something special.
Starlite Campbell have a great sound and a terrific live show – can’t wait to see them again. ★★★★
Andy Snipper: Music News, London. England.