Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Big Star

How do you review a band which plays, on average, one live show every five years or so. Do you do so on the basis of past glories? Do you make allowances for the fact that practically an entire generation has grown up since Alex Chilton last did a proper tour? Hell, no, you write about what a remarkably good time you had. Because, despite the handicaps which they give themselves, Big Star are well worth the entrance fee.

The most surprising thing is just how democratic the band is. Chilton might be the star name, Jody Stephens might be the only original member left, but vocal duties are pretty evenly spread around and Jon Auer certainly takes most of the solos. 'September Gurls' and 'Back of a Car' are, of course, highlights, but the few numbers from 2005 album 'In Space' more than hold there own. Moreover, there's some classic rock and roll and even an attempt at classical music. A man of Ken Stringfellow's age and height probably shouldn't be wearing black nail varnish, but if that's the biggest fault it still adds up to one heck of a gig


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