When Stellarstarr* drummer Arthur Kremer takes his seat, he's wearing shades. In one of the darkest venues in the
country he is wearing shades. Maybe it's because of the strobe that's by his side, pointing directly at him, which will
operate throughout the entire set or maybe that he's trying to display "New York Cool".
Is this a display of confidence or arrogance?
Based on the performance that is about to commence, its justified
confidence, something gained from playing the under cards at larger
venues supporting the likes of the Ravonettes, enabling them to refine
& hone songs that have been in gestation for 18 months or longer.
Opening number "In the Walls" is a simplistic, stripped down yet
highly effective combination of vocals, bass and guitar. Focusing on
delivering, wasting little time between numbers, front man Shawn
Christensen leads into "No Weather" a song that cleverly weaves
between pulsing rhythms, the deceptively harmonious background
vocals (and bass) of Amanda Tannen, and glorious guitars of Michael
Christensen's voice has not jet been destroyed by relentless touring, so still has an
ability to range from a Kevin Rowland sound-a-like frantic yelp (meant as a
compliment) to a matter of fact Robert Smith delivered plea
As befits a band that had 3 of it's member attend the same college before starting the
band (Tannen, Christensen & Kremer all went to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn) so that
they know each well, there's a feeling that the live sound has contributions from
everyone, sometimes with a driving drum beat, or vocals or guitar riff.
They may have to shrug off their New York associations to win over an increasingly
cynical "Not Another Bandwagon Yankee rip off" British punter, but the signs are
They seem to recognise that if they don't put the effort in, the audience won't. So as
"My Coco", "Moongirl" & "Jenny" are dispensed, increasing the momentum, Jurin,
twists, jumps and contorts, the intensity building until both he and Christensen end up
playing guitars whilst on their knees, before leaving to enthusiastic applause
If you wondering how the name came about it
allegedly originates from a girl who Christensen went
to high school with, and whose boyfriend committed
suicide. The asterisk is just another confusing way of