- Stuart McHugh
- 2 October 2008
Is this music?@13th Note, Glasgow, Thu 18 Sep
They might be clad in jeans and speak (if not sing) with pronounced Glasgow accents, but The Starlets are the model of sophistication, from their choice of covers – a Go-Betweens song ‘to warm up’ – to their impeccable arrangements.
Intelligent pop with a Glaswegian twist – referencing F Scott Fitzgerald, writing about what they know – hence, ‘Novocaine’, inspired by a three-day vodka bender. There’s even ‘Marie Claire’, so drenched in French cool it probably contravenes the smoking ban.
The mystery remains as to how The Starlets aren’t bigger, with their full sound, perfect pop melodies and Bacharach-esque flourishes. A clue may lie in the fact that there are only two ‘up’ songs in the set. The mournful vignettes never wallow in their own misery, and are never too long – each is beautifully supplanted by mournful cornet and violin which complement singer Biff’s knock 'em-dead, show-stopping vocals.
Maybe they are just a little too classy. Biff even tones down the effing and blinding - his parents are there - a show for everyone.