Starlite Campbell Band

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Starlite Campbell Band
OriginIsle of Man
GenresBritish blues, blues, British rock and folk.
Years active2016–present
LabelsSupertone Records (London)
Associated actsSimon Campbell, Electrolite
Websitestarlite-campbell.com
Members
  • Suzy Starlite
  • Simon Campbell

Starlite Campbell Band is a British blues group based between Manchester and Portugal. Formed in 2016, the band is led by married couple Suzy Starlite and Simon Campbell. Their debut album, Blueberry Pie was nominated for a European Blues Award in November 2017 and blends British blues, British rock, blues and British folk.

History[edit]

The duo had been recording, playing and touring independently in bands for many years until they met in 2012, when Starlite asked Campbell, who was British Blues Awards Nominee,[1] to join her band as the guitar player. The love extended past each other's playing and the duo were wed in 2014 after a whirlwind romance, forming their new joint band, Starlite Campbell, in January 2016.

As prolific singer-songwriters, they started writing together immediately and built up a large collection of songs in a variety of styles, from Americana, folk music, electronic music, progressive rock to British blues. The art of the song is everything and they fly in the face of disposable music – writing, recording and producing their work and then releasing on their independent label Supertone Records.

Their first recorded collaboration was on Campbell's second solo album, The Knife[2] where they jointly wrote and performed Do You Want Me with Campbell on acoustic guitar, Theremin and vocals and Starlite on Mellotron and vocals.

Recordings[edit]

Blueberry Pie[edit]

The couple wrote the material for their debut album Blueberry Pie over two weeks in April 2016 and started recording in July at the Supertone Records Studio[3] in Valencia, Spain, with the album mixed and mastered in October 2016. It was produced and engineered by Campbell, co-produced by Starlite and mastered by Jon Astley[4] who is known for his work with The Who and other rock luminaries. In addition to the band and session musicians Steve Gibson and Jonny Henderson, Valencian native Danny Boy Sanchez was co opted to play harmonica on track No. 5, "Say What You Want".

The album artwork is based on a picture taken by Starlite in the late 70's of her Grandmother Betty Higgs.[5]

Blueberry Pie was released on 1 February 2017[4] and has been extensively reviewed[6] by publications in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia Blues Matters!, R2 (Rock'n'Reel), Classic Rock[7]

The band made a festive release It Started Raining on 24 December 2017. The song was recorded live at Supertone Records studio in Valencia, Spain as part of the 'Blueberry Pie' sessions with a single guitar overdub. The cover image was taken by Isle of Man-based photographer Phil Kneen and features an old caravan featured in the song's lyric.

On 12 November 2018 the band simultaneously released their new single Heart of Stone along with a limited edition, gatefold, 180g double phonograph record (vinyl) of their album Blueberry Pie. The lacquers were cut by Miles Showell[4] at Abbey Road Studios and the pressing supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.[8]

Recorded as part of the original Blueberry Pie sessions, the track has a stinging, acidic lyric which complements the hypnotic rolling groove of the track. It appears exclusively in physical form on side four of the record. The cover image was taken by Isle of Man-based photographer Phil Kneen featuring actor Rob Smith.

The Language of Curiosity[edit]

In May 2019 Starlite and Campbell relocated their Supertone Records studio into the countryside near Hanover, Germany, where they started recording their second British blues / British rock music album, The Language of Curiosity moving again in October 2020 to Lisbon, Portugal where they continue work on the recordings. Two singles have already been released from the album which is set for release in 2021.

It is again produced and engineered by Campbell, co-produced by Starlite and mastered by Astley. In addition to the band and session musicians Steve Gibson (drums), Christian Madden (Hammond Organ) and Jonny Henderson (Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Electric piano, Vox Continental, Hohner Clavinet and Bechstein grand piano. Some keyboard parts were recorded at the Chairworks Studios in Castleford, England and Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales.

The Coat[edit]

Whilst recording the Language of Curiosity the couple are simultaneously recording an experimental contemporary folk music album The Coat, which will fuse electronic elements such as Sequential Tempest analog drum machine, Moog synthesizer Mintaur and E1 guitar with traditional acoustic instrumentation. The album is set for release in early 2022.

Live performances[edit]

British blues trio / quartet[edit]

During 2017 and 2018, the band performed extensively throughout Spain and the Isle of Man; in July 2018 band played Linton Festival[9][10][11] to great reviews.[12]

Accompanied by drummer Steve Gibson, the band traveled to Australia to headline[13][14][15] the blues marquee at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz on Saturday 3 November 2018 to over 3000 people with great reviews and extensive publicity.[16] Accompanying the band on this show was Australian keyboard player Clayton Doley.

The Starlite Campbell Band embarked on their debut tour of the United Kingdom in December 2018 with performances in Coulsdon, Pershore, Edinburgh, Eaglescliffe, Saltburn-by-the-Sea and The Met (arts centre) in Campbell's hometown of Bury, Greater Manchester to great reviews.[17]

2019 has seen them touring Europe and the United Kingdom which included a show at one of London's longest-running and most respected live music venues, The Half Moon, Putney plus the Forum, Darlington, The Met (arts centre), Bury, Greater Manchester - which featured Josh Phillips (musician)[18] of Procol Harum on keyboards - Flirting With The Blues festival, Amersfoort, Porgy en Bess, Terneuzen and the Greystones, Sheffield.

Following early performances in 2020 at The Great British Rock and Blues Festival (main stage), Skegness; Backstage at the Green, Kinross; Redcar R&B Club and the Half Moon, Putney, live shows were curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duo[edit]

Starlite and Campbell are touring the material from The Knife and their upcoming album The Coat in venues throughout Europe to great reviews.[19]

Members[edit]

  • Suzy Starlite: Lead and backing vocals, bass guitar, piano, mellotron, stylophone, Mandolin, fife, percussion, Moog Taurus bass pedals and recorder (2016–present)
  • Simon Campbell: Lead and backing vocals, electric guitar, resonator guitar, Moog E1 guitar, Mandolin, acoustic guitar, theremin, Sequential Tempest drum machine, percussion and piano (2016–present)

Session musicians[edit]

The band use a variety of fine musicians both live and in the studio depending upon suitability for the project, availability and geographical location.

Equipment[edit]

Both Starlite and Campbell are users of vintage equipment, specifically valve amplifiers for guitar and bass and use multiple brands including vintage Hiwatt,[20] Gartone, Germino, Vox, Matamp, Supertone, Ampeg and Van Weelden with speakers by Electro-Voice, Celestion and Bergantino Audio Systems.

Starlite favours instruments by Mike Lull, Gretsch, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and Fylde Guitars some fitted with the Hipshot drop-D tuners. She was featured with a two-page article[21] in Bass Guitar talking her equipment and playing style.

Campbell's instruments include Gibson, Moog synthesizer, Mosrite, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Collings Guitars, National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Guild Guitar Company, Duesenberg Guitars, Fylde Guitars Touchstone Walnut Mandolin plus signature models by luthier Jim Drake in Colorado and Gordon Whittam (Gordy) in Manchester, UK with pickups by Lollar, Sheptone, Lindy Fralin and House of Tone. He is known for his expertise and extensive use of the Maestro Echoplex EP2 tape echo.[22]

They use bass/guitar strings principally by Curt Mangan, Thomastik-Infeld and Pyramid with Effects unit's by Lehle, DWJ Pedals, Supertone, Ernie Ball, Hudson Electronics, TC Electronic, Eventide, Lexicon, Chase Tone, Headway, Sonic Research, LovePedal, Skrydstrup R&D, Textone, Digitech, Voodoo Labs, GigRig, Origin Effects, CMAT Mods, Headway Music Audio,[23] Gamechanger Audio, Strymon, B. K. Butler, Stomp Under Foot, Danelectro, T-Rex[24] and Fulltone. Tempest and Prophet synthesisers by Sequential.[25]

Side projects[edit]

The Supertone Show[edit]

From November 2015 to October 2019 Starlite and Campbell broadcast the Supertone Show, a weekly, music-inspired chat show about songs and the people who make them. It featured an eclectic mix of music from their vinyl collections, plus special shows focussing on inspirational people who have influenced and changed the sound of modern music. The show was syndicated to 14 internet and FM stations based in the Netherlands, USA, Canada,[26] and the UK.[27] Repeats are still being broadcast and an archive is available on the Supertone Records website.

Electrolite[edit]

In May 2014 the couple, with Mark Cleator, recorded a synth-pop / electronic music, extended play record under the name Electrolite.[28] Writing took place on the Isle of Man and later in Duras, Lot-et-Garonne, France and Valencia, Spain. The EP was released electronically and on 180g vinyl and features Starlite on vocals, Campbell on drum & bass synthesiser programming, MOOG E1 guitar, electric guitar, Theremin, backing vocals with Mark Cleator on an array of analog synthesizers by Moog, ARP, Dave Smith plus an original Mellotron. It was recorded at the Chairworks Studio in Castleford with engineer James Mottershead, produced by Campbell and mastered by Kevin Grainger at Wired Masters, London and in 2017 the record was licensed to Ninthwave Records. The sleeve was designed by Barry Kinder and Daren Newman.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Year Album Label
2017 Blueberry Pie Supertone Records
2021 The Language of Curiosity Supertone Records

Singles

Year Single Label
2013 Happiness In Halos Supertone Records
2017 It Started Raining Supertone Records
2018 Heart of Stone Supertone Records
2020 Stone Cold Crazy Supertone Records
2020 Lay It Out On Me Supertone Records
2020 Can't Find My Way Home Supertone Records

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2017 European Blues Awards[29][30][31][32] Best Album / Recorded Session Blueberry Pie Nominated


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Simon Campbell nominated for British Blues Award". BBC News. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Simon Campbell: The Knife". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band". 24/7 Valencia. 11 February 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Blueberry Pie – Starlite Campbell Band". AllMusic. 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Ross-born blues artist shortlisted for best album award". Hereford Times. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Blueberry Pie". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band – Blueberry Pie Album Review". TeamRock. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band". Isle of Man Arts Council. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Homecoming gig for blues band as Ross-born Suzie Starlite plays Linton Festival with the Starlite Campbell Band". Hereford Times. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Returning to her hometown to play at the Linton Festival". Ross Gazette. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Simon and Suzy head across the water for a festival date". Isle of Man Today. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Linton Blues Festival 2018". Rhythm & Booze. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band". Wangaratta Festival of Jazz. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Headliners Coming". Wangaratta Chronicle. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Blues duo reach for the stars". Isle of Man Today. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band excited for Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues". The Border Mail. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band – Bannermans, Edinburgh, 19 December 2018". Blues Enthused. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Husband and wife bring the blues back to Bury". Bury Times. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Blues und Folk vom Feinsten in Winsen". Cellesche Zeitung. 23 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band". Hiwatt. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  21. ^ McIver, Joel (September 2018). "Star Quality: Suzy Starlite of the Starlite Campbell Band hits the blues groove runnin". Bass Guitar.
  22. ^ "Starlite Campbell Band - Bannermans, Edinburgh, 19 December 2018". Blues Enthused. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Simon Campbell". Headway Music Audio. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Artists". T-Rex Effects. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  25. ^ "Artists". Sequential. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  26. ^ "The Supertone Show". Lkcb 128.4 Classic Rock Canada. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  27. ^ "The Supertone Show". Fab Radio International. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  28. ^ "Electrolite". MusicBrainz. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  29. ^ "European Blues Awards". 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Ramsbottom blues artist Simon Campbell nominated for Best Album/Recorded Session in the 2017 European Blues Awards". Bury Times. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  31. ^ "Manx Blues pair aim to conquer Europe". Isle of Man Newspapers. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Ross singer Suzy Starlite needs your vote". Ross Gazette. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.

External links[edit]