They take to the stage to the strains of Let ‘Em In by Paul McCartney’s Wings. It’s an apt introduction as the band shares McCartney’s gift for pure melodies and songs which almost seem to make the heart burst. Stars’ opening song The Theory of Relativity is, however, one of their most rhythmic songs to date, its commanding synths and shuffling percussion recalling prime New Order. It’s an adept update of Stars’ sound, building on the core interaction between Campbell and female vocalist Amy Millan. It’s quickly evident that The North’s official unavailability is not an issue in this internet age, the crowd welcoming the song as an old friend. Still, it’s a Friday night and there’s a strong sense that many present would welcome most anything musical, the band providing a backdrop to a night out. It is irritating at times, not least during more intimate moments like the sublime Dead Hearts when moving lyrics about “kids that I once knew” are forced to compete with a constant low-level chatter. The classic Ageless Beauty from career peak Set Yourself On Fire prove to be arresting, however, inducing euphoric sing-alongs and rapt affection.
Full review up at MusicOMH.