4 Songs, 14 Minutes


About Starclub

First-generation Brit-poppers Starclub should never have named themselves after the Hamburg club where the Beatles made their name. Not only could their fine but not world-beating guitar pop not live up to the reference, but it also created an unrealistic point of comparison, especially for those wanting the second coming of Merseybeat, or at least a second La's album. Singer/guitarist Owen Vyse and guitarist Steve French (oddly, the bassist and drummer aren't identified, although they're shown in photos on the sleeve of the band's sole album, 1993's Starclub) instead favor the rougher side of the '60s, as evinced by name-checking the Pretty Things and British R&B legend Georgie Fame's guest organ on three tracks. The single "Hard to Get" was a minor alternative radio hit, but Starclub split up before a follow-up could be issued. Vyse later became a touring member of the re-formed Echo and the Bunnymen. French moved to New York and became a producer, working with former Gin Blossoms guitarist Robin Wilson's bands the Gas Giants and the Poppin' Wheelies. Two songs meant for Starclub's never-recorded second album ended up on the Poppin' Wheelies' self-titled 2000 debut. ~ Stewart Mason