Thursday, September 14, 2006

They Treat You Like Trash

The Flaming Stars - Like Trash
The Flaming Stars - Sweet Smell Of Success

London is the best place in the world to live. That is if you are a pessimistic, whisky swilling, heart broken, burnt-out wreck of a man. After listening to The Flaming Stars for over a decade, I can safely say that London is the only place for them. Their records evoke the atmosphere of dimly lit late-night bars, getting out of your face, missing the tube home and being dumped by the love of your life. It’s all in a nights work for a Flaming Star.

The Flaming Stars lead singer is the former Gallon Drunk drummer, Max Décharné. His deep vocals croon the downtrodden, washed-up ballads. The more raucous tunes belt out the swamp-garage-guitar-blues, with his keyboard bashed hard, lending another layer of sound, which stays just the right side of sleaze over cheese. Stated on a Flaming Stars record is that it has been “Engineered entirely using valve equipment.” You can believe it as soon as it starts. The sound certainly has a romantic old school feel to it, developed long before The White Stripes made it cool, recording at the same Toe Rag Studios.

As a 16-year-old living in a village in the arse end of nowhere back in 1995, The Flaming Stars’ tales of drunken heartbreak seemed somehow glamorous to me. Don’t worry kids, I know the dangers of drinking (and the mornings after) now of course, but still the bar room floor beckons when I put on a Flaming Stars record.

The Flaming Stars seem prolific by today’s standards of taking three years to record that difficult next album. Having previously released seven studio albums, the band were also frequent visitors to Maida Vale to record sessions for John Peel, and after the sad demise of their record label, Vinyl Japan, signed to Ace Records, who released their career-to-date compilation ‘London After Midnight’ earlier this year. The band will return with another album, ‘Born Under A Bad Neon Sign’ later in the year, and to celebrate its release will be playing The Luminaire in London on October 4th.

Unofficial Flaming Stars website here
The Flaming Stars at My Space
Buy The Flaming Stars albums at Amazon
Ace Records website