Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Flaming Stars - "London After Midnight - Singles, Rarities and Bar Room Floor-fillers 1995 - 2005" (CD, Big Beat - 2006)

This greasy haired wild bunch of Londoners should have been my fave band ever. I mean, the Flaming Stars are the only 'round the dark and fluid basements that for so many years are able to reflect so perfectly my moods, my influences in all aspects of what people think of as 'art'. They named their-selves probably after the amazing Elvis song (which along with 'Crawfish' belong to the all time faves WTS pantheon) blending brilliantly and uniquely twangy surf, outlaw hardcore country, southern fried Sun/Meteor rockabilly, straight ahead R&B with Rat Pack's brat class, 60s garages original feel, Bukowski oozed lyrics and the Peckinpah originated set up, in a lethal cocktail no real rock & roll admirer could or would like to resist!
Every coin has two sides they say and the Flaming Stars stamped theirs on the penny that has the Godfathers on the other. Forget the easy and for me totally out of place comparisons with the Tindersticks or the Bad Seeds. And if Cave's not that far from them, at least in frame - the Tindersticks look like some 'Brian Ferrys' to my eyes where the Flaming Stars are the Only Ones with Dean Martin on the mic or the Voidoids with Jarvis Cocker. No wonder for a band that had its roots on the Earls of Suave (a legendary outfit with ex-members by the Gallon Drunk, the Headcoats, the Cannibals and the Sting-Rays!).
What amazes me the most though are their guitar dual channeling arsenal. They were handy enough to combine Link Wray with Ennio Morricone and the glam days of  Lou Reed in a way that sounded at least natural to these ears. The creepy organ/piano was squinting with the one eye turned to Jerry Lee and the other to Human Expression's mournful melodies and the hypnotizing (in many cases) rhythms were in dept of the Velvets nonchalant drug addiction minus the art-faggotry element. Their singles and CDs had sleeves with a direct line/tribute to all the cool crime novels and sleazy paperbacks of the 50s (check the permanent link on the blog for Max's AMAZING book, 'Straight from the Fridge, Dad' - proceed without second thoughts!) and it was the main reason for starting buy them when they were a completely uknown act to me. The DRUNKEN night back to the late 90s Athens at An's basement wasn't just a memorable show (Max on the liners seems to have the same opinion as me) but a Dionysian celebration. Here's a perfect compilation, the way such releases should be done. I wonder if they're still around?

Buy it HERE

Pic taken from Ace records website



  2. Very well put! For a recent interview with Max look here