Blue and green record exploding into shards


London-based five-piece Junkstar took to the stage in an array of colours, styles and attitudes – not least emanating from their outfits ranging from traditional drummer clobber of cap and vest to a kimono-ey number for the female keyboard player, and a distinctly women’s stripy red top offset with pink fairy wings for the lead singer!

After a long, feedback-intensive introduction, the first song ‘Rock Bottom’ began. Drawing comparisons with Placebo, the lead singer’s appealing, American-accented voice swung from rock growl to Scissor Sisters falsetto. He was certainly confident and managed to sound good both when singing normally and putting on showy effects, and the backing vocals – mostly from the bass player – were complementary and superb.

‘Brothers and Sisters’ was a catchy number not dissimilar to Ash in the way that the band layered the different sounds and the three guitars, and ‘Thicker Than’ was a slower, atmospheric song that built up big drums and melodic keyboards, culminating in a sci-fi sounding Dr Who style ending.

‘Blue Bottles’ was the best song of the set. A new track off the band’s album, it was a real fusion of Blur/The Bravery/Joy Division with even more emphasis on the American-sounding vocals. Great elements, including alternate shouty and very, high backing vocals made this dramatic, catchy number my favourite. Last song ‘Head Down’ was slower and almost Lost Prophets in places, with good hooks and a great bridge. It was a good choice to end on, with its big drums/keyboard/feedback finish.

Although the band had a lot of energy, a good mix of songs and are quite contemporary, there was not the raw energy or enthusiasm from all five members that you would have expected. They were not amazingly tight and the bandmates didn’t seem to gel particularly; often seeming to be working individually rather than as a group. Having said that, with a few basic improvements and a bit more togetherness, I could see Junkstar comfortably working their way up the running order.

Written by Bussey on


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