Bands usually go through changes. Sometimes for the best, sometimes it doesn’t make any difference. Then there are some that go through hell and have to have a new lineup. There is something about experiencing emotional pain and suffering that can make a person tougher. There is something about it that can be a kick up the arse. Suffering or not, we all need that at times.
By Starlight are a London based trio who make the kind of music that would probably silence Courtney Love. When you listen to bassist/vocalist Sara you hear all the powerful singers that came before her in her voice. There’s a hint of PJ, Shirley Manson, Patti and Courtney in her voice and it is bloody excellent.
Sara started the band a few years ago after she left Australia. Australia isn’t known for its music scene I suppose (Silverchair will always be one of my favourite bands and Natalie Imbruglia once had a nice hairstyle didn’t she.) As someone who was once shy and hadn’t really sung before, it is fair to say that she has found her voice. A voice so strong and so passionate; enough to make you want to start a band too. These are the kind of bands and singers we need.
By Starlight have a raw, gnarly 90s sound. So Desperate could easily pass as a song off Garbage’s debut record. It is brutal and heavy, it is everything I want from a song and a band. They have a real moody sound flowing beautifully in and out of their songs. Listen to So Desperate just once, and it will stay with you. No And Forever sounds like it would sit wonderfully on Hole’s Celebrity Skin record. I know it may sound like lame comparisons, but honestly they just sound like one of the great Rock bands, you know? You can’t ignore that
There’s determination in this band, and of course it is something to admire. Last year, drummer (and best friend of Sara) Pete was sadly killed in a car accident. I wish I had written about them prior because his drumming was brilliant. Some drummers just have you hooked instantly, and he was definitely one of them. I’m just glad Sara didn’t call it quits because By Starlight aren’t a band anyone should ignore.
After only meeting Dan (guitar) and Thierry (drums) a few months ago, it is pretty obvious that this band aren’t one that should be stopped. What started with the desire to move to London has now become something truly wonderful, even in the light of something beyond awful. By Starlight have a real Rock sound to them. Their sound is heavy in all the right places and is mixed with moody and seductive vocals.
I’ve happily been playing their 3 tracks on their soundcloud page for the past hour or so. So Desperate is a proper little earworm that will stay with you. You can listen to their tracks right here:
Their next show is on 27th February at The Dublin Castle (in Camden.) I’ve not seen them live, but I’m pretty sure it will be gloriously loud and rowdy.
If mean (they’re sweethearts really, but you know what I’m getting at) and moody melodies are what you desire, then turn yourself onto By Starlight. An absolute pleasure to listen to and I’m pretty damn proud to call myself a fan. Besides, any band that name themselves after a Smashing Pumpkins song is alright with me! This won’t be the last I write about By Starlight.
They are loud and vibrant and all-consuming and forceful and everything you want from a proper, proper band. Go to Camden, you won’t be disappointed!