The Hector Collectors/The Stop Starts – Woodside Social Club (12 November 2005)

There’s nothing better than catching a local band you’ve never heard of and being pleasantly surprised. OK, there’s lots of things better than that, one of which is being very pleasantly surprised. And, The Stop Starts are one such surprise. (Here we go on band names, again. Dunno if that “The” is right, or if there’s any punctuation between the words. Not an easy Google.) All post-punk geekdom and so now it’s nearly painful. But, also tighter than a proverbial and really bloody good. Having a southpaw in the band, will always earn you brownie points round these parts. And the vocalist/bassist is one such sinister dude. Himself and the drummer (both on vocals) build the sparse skeleton of their sound. It is often the case that a drummer can let a band down. No matter what’s going on at the front it the rhythm section is giving it hi-hi-hi-snare it will kill it. Or, they can lift the work to that above-the-crowd place. In this case it’s very much the latter. (Mr Muso ranter tonight, I was.)

Oh, they do sound like someone circa 1980, but buggered if I could work out who, so maybe they don’t. Looking forward to catching them again.

It has been over a year since The Hector Collectors last played. To be honest, it doesn’t show. Mind, they were a pretty ramshackle prospect back then (arf! sometimes I kill myself). The Hectors’ sound is deeply in thrall to 80’s indie-pop of a certain type (BMX Bandits, Yummy Fur…), and very good they are at it too. I’ve waxed previously about The Hectors and the fact that they could be very special. This still stands, at their best they take the details of everyday life and weave them into mini-epics of the kind favoured by Jilted John (the kind of thing the chattering morons constantly credit Mike bleeding Skinner with). At worst this veers to comedy song territory (I was going to say more John Shuttleworth than Jilted, but have a horrible suspicion that would be willfully misconstrued as a compliment). Of course, if the band are a going concern again, hopefully some new material will separate the wheat etc or at least the completely out of date (I’m sure there was a song in there about a five year old flame war between some minor Glasgow scenesters).

If it all does get a little monotonous (in the truest sense of the word), it’s a minor quibble. Let’s hope they don’t leave it so long until the next one.

There’s an unnecessary tacked on medley of pop tunes at the end. *sigh* Never close on a cover…never close on a cover…

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Written by Tony Kiernan

15 November 2005 at 4:32 pm

Posted in Gigs

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