Last night I was invited down to the legendary and world famous 100 Club down on Oxford Street, Central London to see a band that I’ve been hearing a lot about for a while but not had the chance to see them live, until now…. and I will say this in every expressive way imaginable and in all absolute sense of the word….WOW!
My friends, it is my great pleasure and honour to present to you…STARSEED!
I say that because I feel privileged to be writing this and to have seen them live while they are still playing in the smaller venues. This is a band that I can honestly say, are definitely going to be up there with the big boys in the not too distant future.
These guys are big band material all the way and from what I heard last night, I am actually quite amazed that they are still playing small venues. Now I’ve heard that they have been getting some 4/5; 9/10 rave reviews in big label rock magazines such as Kerrang, and rumour has it that they are on their way at becoming the next Seether, which correct me if I’m wrong, is to date, South Africa’s most popular and successful South African Alternative Rock export, however saying that, it is rather difficult to compare the two when it comes to musical style as Seether being more of your Grungy Alternative, for example, Nirvana, Puddle of Mudd, Silverchair, whereas Starseed are a little heavier with Alternative Hard Rock, if you think more on the lines of a Metallica feel. So they definitely aren’t something for all you closet Sugar Babes fans as you can imagine.
Now I won’t lie, I arrived expecting to see a good South African band, don’t get me wrong, no disrespect to the SA bands out there, I’m in full support and behind you all the way, but the UK aswell as the US I imagine, has a lot more competition. You need to be at the top of your game in every second of every set, it’s a ruthless scene that is quick to dismiss those that don’t cut it. Back in the day I used to practically live at the Buzz Bar and Churchills in Maritzburg supporting SA Music with the likes of Arapaho, Squeal, Wonderboom, Sons of Trout, Amersham, The Springbok Nude Girls, Sugar Drive, the list goes on. These bands were all brilliant, they were the pioneers of SA Rock. The music was great, it was new and it was happening but there is one thing that I’ve always said and I’ll say it again, apart from Just Jinger who seemed to nail it on the acoustic side, it was a bit thin and lacked the fullness with serious punch that you’d hear on most internationally recorded albums. Nobody was at fault for this; SA Rock was in its infancy and building itself up to the standard so this was acceptable, however the reality of it was, that it was what it was. When Starseed belted out their opening song, “Shine” which is their current single, I stood there with eyes wide open and stunned, because this was not your usual South African band, it was punchy and it was full, these guys were exceptionally tight, probably one of the tightest live bands I’ve seen in a small venue ever, which is why I said in the beginning, I’m amazed that these guys are still playing small venues. The performance as a whole was very truthfully a studio quality performance, you’d have thought they’d been rehearsing the same songs for the last 20 years over and over non stop because they were performed that well. Starseed appear to be extremely serious about what they are trying to achieve here, and that’s a quality you really see in top rock bands, although saying that, if you take a look at the guys on an individual basis you can see each off them loves what he does. Andy the drummer looks like he’s a baby having a party in a paddling pool behind the drums; you can see the enjoyment from a mile away. Russell has an extremely wide range on the vocals which I found really impressive, Dale on bass is totally swimming in his vibe, Peter on lead guitar cradles and speaks fluently to his guitar as if it was a language that only they understand but sounds amazing, and last but not least, Gerald on rhythm guitar plays and really communicates with the crowd on a musical level which even gets the statues moving.
I left the venue last night still quite stunned and taken back by what I’d seen, these guys are good, and when I say good, I mean frickin good, completely going well beyond what I was expecting. If you enjoy your Rock, then this is one band I suggest you take the time to go and see, because you’ll probably leave there as taken back as I was with their performance.
Take my word for it, I don’t get paid to write this, I’m not just saying all this because they are South African (although it was the initial reason I went to see them) and I’m not gonna try sell you hot air, but I wouldn’t be sitting here writing a 1010 word review if I didn’t think they were that great. I guess you could say I was pretty much blown away.
I do feel sorry for any band that Starseed open for because they’d have a lot to live up to. As my friend Justin Badenhorst will tell you, as he’s witnessed, it’s not every day that the support act completely blows away the main act, but it happens.
Yours truely hanging with Starseed after their gig.
This is the video for their latest single “Shine”... enjoy
Excellent guys! Can't wait to see what you come up with in the future, its looking to be massive!