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 did actually 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 also 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, 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