If you really want to know…. Once apon a time, singer Biff Smith’s sister Gill attended The Glasgow School of Art where drummer Craig Laurie was working. Gill mentioned Craig’s name to Biff who was trying unsuccessfully to get a band together and they met up for a rehearsal. On the day of the rehearsal Craig had been to a football match and was slightly the worse for wear after having had “a few”. He entered the practice room, sat behind the drum kit and fell backwards off the drum stool. It was love at first sight.
Over the next year or two, other members came and went until The Starlets finally settled on their first team of Biff Smith – voice, Mark McSwiggan – Guitars, Stephen McGourty – Bass, Craig Laurie – Drums, Nigel Baillie – Brass, and Iain White – Strings, in time to deliver their debut album “Surely Tomorrow You’ll Feel Blue” (2001). Inspired in part by alternative guitar pop and old string-laden movie soundtracks, it was a lush, poetic album which, despite being utterly out of step with prevailing musical trends, gained critical acclaim, winning “Jockrock album of the year”, and was included in “Is this Music” top 100 albums by Scottish artists, as the band began to find an audience beyond their home town of Glasgow. This continued with the release of the second album “Further Into The Night Forever” (2003) which was again a critical success and brought the band to the attention of the Japanese label Muzak which licensed the record for Japan and helped promote The Starlets’ first ever live performances in Tokyo.
The latest album, “Out Into The Days From Here”, is out now in Japan on Fastcut Records and is also now available in the UK on the band’s own label, Stereotone. The band are now complimented by Caroline Evens on Violin, and loan signings, Mike Horn from the 17th Century on Cornet, and Famous Dave from The Hidden Masters on Mandolin. A compilation of songs from the first three albums, “I Wake Up Dreaming”, has been released in Spain on the Discos de Paseo label. The band are curently working on new material with the producer Jari Haapalainen. (The Concretes / Camera Obscura / Ed Harcourt)