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A New International

2013 July 8
by The Starlets

A New International

For A New International!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We would like to let everyone know that the band shall no longer be working under the name of “The Starlets”.  This is something we have been considering for a while and it now feels like the right thing to do.  There also one or two practical reasons which have influenced our decision .

When we first named the band in 1996 we were very much influenced by some of the great girl groups such as the Supremes, the Shangri-Las, the Shirelles, the Chiffons…  Our idea was for us to be a guitar band which sounded like a 60s girl group.  I don’t think we ever actually did sound like that, but that’s another story.  We later on discovered that there was a short-lived girl group called The Starlets in the US.  It’s possible that if we made it as far as the US we would have had to bill ourselves as something like “The Starlets (UK)” which none of us wanted but as there were no plans to visit the US I suppose we forgot about it, bumbling along harmlessly with the name unchanged.  I hear that there are also one or two other namesakes dotted around the world. We should have known that with a name as generic as this that there would have been others.  I daresay every band to some extent likes to feel they are at least a little bit unique.  Well, “The Starlets” as a name is not really even a little bit unique.  Keeping the current name became something we just went along with.  We don’t believe in it anymore.

Over the past few years we have changed considerably, both sonically and in personnel, and it’s got to the stage now that, with the one exception in “I’m your kinda guy”, every song in our live set is new and unreleased.  We have made three albums as The Starlets and I think that perhaps they will work well as a trilogy.   We don’t however, play any of those songs live now and neither do we really want to. We feel like a new band.  When someone buys a Starlets CD after our shows I always feel a little fraudulent; people want to take home something of what they experienced live but if I saw us, bought our albums, and then went home for a listen I would think that there had been some mistake, that this was not the band I saw live.

None of this is to say that we want to deny our past, rewrite it, or never play Starlets songs again.  We may still “cover” Starlets songs live and possibly our new record will have a Starlets’ song on it.  There are pop songs lying around in our vaults (or, more precisely, Craig’s cupboard) which may even suit a release under the Starlets’ name someday. Also, we will still sell Starlets CDs at shows and through our site. The last song on the last Starlets album is “Nothing Ever Dies” and this is another sign of a full stop, end of a chapter, even a happy ending and that was never something I thought would happen to The Starlets.  I am proud of everything we’ve done so far and want to celebrate it but I believe that what we will do next will be very different. I look at The Starlets albums with their mixture of sepia and black and white imagery and wonder if perhaps that these were our monochrome years and that now it’s time to go technicolor.

We have been very lucky in recent years to have had the opportunity to travel abroad and play shows in mainland Europe and in Japan and these experiences have strongly influenced the band’s sound.  One of the proposed titles for our new album was “A New International”.  It gradually dawned on us that this just might be a better fit as a band name for us now than the Starlets.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Starlets’ adventures and in particular to Chris Wiseman, Joanne Bunyan, Nigel Baillie, Claire Smith, Iain White, Martin Gray, Finlay Robertson, Gill Barker, Sandy Black, Alan Dumbreck, Tam Coyle, Ally Kerr, Mike Truscott, Gordon Kyle, Ruari Wilson, Eliot Waterhouse, Ali Hendry, Duncan and Johnny Cameron at Riverside Studios, Flotsam and Jetsam, SL Records, Fastcut Records, Discos De Paseo, Matthijs Van der Ven, Andy Dempster, Noriyoshi Kamimura, Takashi Yanagi, Naoki and Miharu Morikawa, Jennifer Reiter, Another Sunny Night, Jose Miguel Garanto, Jorge Y Eva Fernandez, our family and friends and everyone who came to see the band.

At our next show I will say “Good evening Ladies and Gentleman, we’re  A New International” and for a second or two it may feel a little odd.  Then we’ll get on with the show.

Cheerio just now,

Biff Smith on behalf of The Starlets/A New International

A New International play The Laurieston Bar, Glasgow on Friday May 24th, free entry.

An evening of song

2013 February 22
by The Starlets

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are very excited to announce two nights of song and good cheer featuring the magical and much-loved cult singer-songwriter Nick Garrie, the continuing adventures of the Starlets, and, showcasing some dark and lovely tunes from his soon to be released new album, Ally Kerr, who will be performing with the Starlets as his backing group on both nights, at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, and The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow
There you go folks. Three quality turns for the punter-friendly price of £5.

Show this Monday in Glasgow

2013 January 8
by The Starlets
No injury concerns ahead of next Monday’s home gig.
Starlets HQ are pleased to announce a full strength line up which sees a repeat of last year’s classic “Euro Jolly” formation.

.                                                     Laurie
.                                                    (Drums)

.             McSwiggan                                                          McGourty
.              (Guitar)                                                                  (Bass)

.       Kyle                                                                                                    Evens
.    (Trumpet)                                                                                        (Violin)
.                                                       Smith
.                                                     (Vocals)

The band will be set out to entertain, in a fluid formation which will encourage all players to bomb forward and express themselves.

8.30 kick off
King Tut’s

Haight Ashbury
Red Sands
Courier’s Club

Free Song

2012 December 30
by The Starlets

The last and first shows of the year,
and a FREE SONG!*
(*see The Rules of Show Business No. 5 – The Punters’ favourite price is free and without charge)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I promise we have not been idle.

Ten of the album demos are finished and we are giving one away for free today here – Free song
And there are shows.  Two of them.  Boom, boom.

Last show of the year shall be the Hogmanay party at the Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, with the Starry Skies and Bjorn from Wake the President as DJ.!/events/399617490121170/

First show of the New Year shall be on Monday January 14th at King Tut’s, Glasgow with Haight Ashbury, Red Sands and Courier’s Club!/events/426619354059700/

All attendees at the Old Hairdressers and King Tut’s shall be entitled to a ANOTHER FREE SONG!
Tickets for King Tut’s show available here for £6.  Your song will be emailed back to you upon receipt of the ticket dough.
Attendees of the Old Hairdressers gig simply send your email address to and the song shall be sent to you.

That’s all for now

Some news

2012 November 18
by The Starlets

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I promise we have not been idle.
Firstly, and most importantly, the drummer has a new drumkit. He is very proud of it. Here it is.

Secondly, we’ve been in the studio recording demos for the album. There are 14 contenders for the final line up.

Thirdly, we’re playing a gig. On a cold rainy Monday night in the middle of January. And we’ve to sell tickets for it. You could say that the odds are stacked against us. But they always were.

King Tuts Details

Ok, so, let’s get to the point then.
You can buy tickets directly from us for £6. Either use the band’s paypal thing here:

Preview Image

and your tickets will be available for collection on the door at Tut’s,
or send us a message here and I’ll come meet you down the pub and deliver them in person (this offer applies to the Glasgow area only, anywhere within the Glasgow Local bus zone).  With a fan base as select as ours, one can afford the luxury of the personal touch.
Now, here is the pot sweetener: every ticket sold will receive a free mp3 of one of the demos from the recent sessions.  Pick a number between 1 and 14 and let us know where to send it.

There ye are then.

Show this Saturday, and stuff

2012 October 12
by The Starlets

Hullo Folks,

Sorry we’ve been a bit quiet lately. We’re out to play this Saturday, 13th October, in my home town of Cumbernauld at the Cumbernauld Theatre, a lovely place.

What else…Oh aye, the album.  It looks like we start work in January.  Our set now consists of mostly unrecorded new songs.  The only way you can hear them right now is at the live shows, which I kind of like.

Ok, so, this Saturday 13th October@ Cumbernauld Theatre with The Preventers, 7.30pm kick off.  Tell your friends.  Message ends.

June shows

2012 May 28
by The Starlets

Live shows in June are-

Live at the Kelvingrove bowl on Sunday June 10th featuring a cast of thousands-

A tale of two cities, for two nights only, featuring a quadruple bill of pop thrills. Live shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow with the Starlets, Lenzie Moss, Ally Kerr and Cineplexx, all for £5 (cheap). Tell your friends.

Stuff, miscellaneous

2012 May 14
by The Starlets

There’s a Biff solo show this month in Glasgow as guest of open mic buddy and new honorary Glaswegian Mr Jamie Hay (May 24th at Tchai Ovna).  Full band show confirmed for Glasgow on Friday June 29th at the Captain’s Rest and we hope to soon confirm news of an Edinburgh show around then too.  We continue to beaver away at the demos for the album, close to a final song choice.  Close but no cigar as yet.   It’s uphill all the way, and that’s on a good day.

Show this Friday

2012 April 2
by The Starlets

Show this Friday, 6th April. It is our great pleasure to be opening for the great Martin Stephenson and the Daintees at King Tut’s, Glasgow. The “Boat to Bolivia” album was a big influence on me. I loved the idea that a band could be many different things. Pop, Indie, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Skiffle – the Daintees are both all and none of these things. The beautiful and haunting “Rain” from “Boat to Bolivia” will be worth the ticket price alone. All the best, biff x.

The album, the IOU, and Mr Martin Stephenson and The Daintees

2012 March 1
by The Starlets

Hullo Folks,

Ok, here’s what’s what.  Lunatic/Genius Producer Jari Haapalainen still thinks we’re two songs short of a decent album so we’re currently giving the barrel another scrape to see what we can come up with.  More news on that once there is any news on that.

At the last home game in January we were rank rotten but we must have scored a jammy equaliser in injury time which has earned us a replay.  We play on  Friday March 23rd, once again at the Cafe Rio, Partick  ( scene of the initial debacle).  This show will be dedicated to all those who were unfortunate enough to attend the Rio show in January.  We owe you one.

We are very honoured to have been once again asked to open for the wonderful Martin Stephenson and the Daintees.  This show is at King Tut’s Glasgow on Friday April 6th.

I think that’s all for now.  As you were.