Isn't it nice when a band not only manages to blow you away when you see them live, but also manage to blow themselves away? That was just the case last night at Koko, when Stars' frontman Torquil Campbell commented "y'know, I think this might be one of the reasons we love London so much" he grinned. You can tell he wasn't lying either, each of the members looked generally pleased, shocked, and amazed at the response they got at the sold out venue.
Let's rewind first a couple of hours to when the second support came on, Stars' labelmates Apostle of Hustle. At first glance they looked like a bunch of mechanics on a night off having a good time down the pub, however quickly showed us otherwise, having some incredibly strong tunes and missing a brain cell or two to make them quite so brilliant. They seemed to genuinely get along with Stars, so much so that they came back and joined Stars for their encore.
Soon enough Stars came on, opening with this Londonista's favourite, Ageless Beauty, before launching through a collection of songs that crossed their full back catalogue, however the focus was (understandably) on their latest release, In The Bedroom, After the War. Sounding amazing live, their homely stage setup complimented perfectly their stories of domestic violence, broken relationships and general debauchery.
Relatively untalkative for the start of their set, Torquil went on to comment towards the end that "We've been playing London for a long time - probably before some of you started masturbating! (to Amy Millan) Remember when we played the Purple Turtle? Ahhhh, good times."
Ending off their main set with the title track of their latest album, Amy Millan and the rest of Stars seemed genuinely shocked at the response they were getting.
The only song missing from the set was one of the standout tracks from "After the War", the bittersweet "Barricade", however it was understandable - it would have just been too depressing to have squeezed it in as well. All together though, Stars proved that whilst they've taken the best part of a decade to get to headlining an impressive UK tour, they have deserved it, and look set to achieve greater things in the coming years.