Saturday, and Starlite Campbell were opening the stage, Suzy was born in nearby Ross, Simon Campbell being from up North, the band included Jonny Henderson with his organic Hammond/Leslie combo, drums were in the very capable hands of Steve Gibson. In 2017 they released Blueberry Pie, a tasty album that found success across the world, and nomination for European Blues Awards.
The band were soon slicing into the pie, rich plummy bass notes from Suzy, were laced with Latin drum rhythms, as Simon introduced a psychedelic edge to the guitar lead, and Jonny stirred the mix of, ‘I Need A Light’. Simon’s Drake guitar sweetened the air with honeyed notes, on a soulful, ‘Cry Over You’. ‘Your So Good For Me’ shuffled out over Jonny’s liquid, Hammond pool, a rocking ride with a 70’s essence.
The deep bass throbs in, Steve’s thumping in the beat, Suzy is feeling moody and, ‘Guilty’. As she takes vocal lead, and Simon soars over Jonny’s organic clouds.
There set finished with Blueberry Pie’s opening track a superb blues, that has the feel of Mayall or Mac, in the heyday of Peter Green, The Hammond is sublime, guitar notes with just enough dirt ground in, with drum and bass rhythm laying the all important foundations.
Suzy, half of the Starlite Campbell partnership was raised in Ross, just a few miles down the M50 from Linton, the full Starlite Campbell Band, opened the stage as Saturday unfolded at this brilliant festival.
Playing French Horn at school, and writing her own material for guitar, at 16, she knew she wanted to follow her artistic instincts. It was a calling, that had to be answered, which took Suzy seeking a coarse in performance media, leaving her friends and family in Ross, and relocating in Salford. Naturally drawn to music, she graduated, into a folk/rock band, Megiddo, the dream of music, travel and performance, driving her forward.
Suzy based herself in the Isle Of Man, where Simon Campbell came into the picture as producer and guitar player, proclaiming a band needed to be formed, and ‘just get out there and play’. Simon pulled a band together, and ‘Starlite’ was formed. Simon was going through a divorce at this time, Suzy driving a huge white van from the mainland, effected an ‘escape’ for Simon, his studio was crammed in and, they ran away together in the, ‘van of rock’. First settling in France, before setting up the Supertone Records North of Valencia, Spain.
Supertone Records evolved into a residential studio, with a sophisticated amalgam of analogue equipment available, becoming recognised for the quality of recordings that rekindled the feel of the 60’s and 70’s. Suzy praises Simon’s production skills and meticulous equipment choice, alongside fastidious microphone placement. Musicians could stay, live and eat together, connecting as a musical family, with recording sessions becoming more organic as a result.
Their own Blueberry Pie, was cooked up in those studios, with drummer Steve Gibson, and Jonny Henderson flying across, the studio being already equipped with Hammond, Leslie and Wurlitzer Piano, for Jonny, Sakae drums for Steve. The result was an album that has found world wide appraisal.
Steve had worked on past albums with Simon, Jonny stepping in whilst Simon was working on his ‘Knife’ album, the bond was formed, and the seed of Starlite Campbell Band had all but germinated at that point, the bass slot soon to be resolved.
The conversion to bass evolved from a studio jam, where she was encouraged to fill in on the bass, Simon decided she was a ‘natural’, the die was cast.
Suzy and Simon married, Suzy receiving a Gretsch Thunderjet bass guitar as a wedding gift, Mike Lull followed on her Birthday.
Brexit, of course the dreaded Brexit reared its ugly multi faced head, currency changes and soaring costs rapidly eroded at the concept of a studio in Spain. Supertone Records was packed in its box, finding them returning to the Isle Of Man, though it’s likely the studio will be reborn somewhere else when the mists of devolution clears.
Meanwhile, The Starlite Campbell Band were in Linton to perform live for the first time. Blueberry Pie has brought recognition and an extensive tour, including a headline spot at the prestigious Wangaratta Jazz And Blues Festival in Australia. Their ‘mince pie’ tour will bring them to The Iron Road in Evesham, later in the year. Suzy and Simon are also currently working on a new album, ‘The Language OF Curiosity’, destined to move on from Blueberry Pie 60’s feel, stepping forward into the 70’s for inspiration. Watch this space!
Suzy Starlite and British blues awards nominee Simon Campbell, who were recently nominated for 'best album' in the European blues awards with their debut release Blueberry Pie, will make their Australian debut at the Merriwa Park blues marquee on Saturday night with their fresh taste of British blues.
The Wangaratta festival is one of Australia’s most highly regarded music events, acclaimed by both fans and musicians for its world class programme of Australian and international jazz and blues artists, attracting over 25,000 visitors across the festival weekend.
The Starlite Campbell Band are a four piece steeped in British blues; think Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and early Led Zeppelin. With contemporary songs inspired by real life and real people, the band have a sound and vibe reminiscent of the mid 60’s to early 70’s - the halcyon days of music.
From bassist Starlite’s addictive, fun-loving groove and thunderous tone to Campbell's explosive vocals and guitar fretwork, the couple are joined by top UK session drummer Steve Gibson (Chris Farlowe / Larry Garner) plus very special guest and Australian maestro Clayton Doley on Hammond & Wurlitzer electric piano.
Starlite and Campbell, who married after a whirlwind musical romance, released their debut album 'Blueberry Pie' to rave reviews worldwide and a prestigious nomination for 'best album' in the European blues awards.
With extensive international radio play charting top 10 in the UK, Australia, The Netherlands and American blues charts and over 40 four and five star reviews worldwide, the Starlite Campbell Band leave an indelible impression on audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds.
The art of the song is everything and Starlite and Campbell fly in the face of disposable music - writing, recording and producing their work, releasing on their independent label Supertone Records.
They will be performing two shows on Saturday 3rd November - an ‘unplugged’ trio session at St. Patrick's Church: 2:00 - 3:00PM and then headlining the Merriwa Park blues marquee with the full quartet: 10:30 - 11:45PM.
The Starlite Campbell Band will be playing an eclectic mix of songs taken from their critically acclaimed album 'Blueberry Pie' and Campbell’s two previous solo albums ThirtySix and The Knife.
The night promises to be extra special as it also features new material from their much anticipated second studio album ‘The Language of Curiosity’ set for release in 2019 - a world premiere!
Starlite said “We are full-time musicians and it’s been a real whirlwind since we decided to write and record an album together, even more so since we released ‘Blueberry Pie’.
We have received such incredible support from hundreds of radio stations across the world and the reviews have been absolutely fantastic! Then the phone started ringing (old school) and our tour diary is now steadily filling up with dates booked at festivals and venues throughout the UK and Europe.”
She added “We have a real affinity with our Aussie music-loving audience and their support has been ace! We were stoked when we got a call from Frank Davidson, Joint Creative Director of the Wangaratta Festival, offering us the opportunity to play - it was meant to be!”.
The 2018 Wangaratta Festival of jazz & blues offers an eclectic mix of national and international jazz and blues artists promising to be a fantastic weekend of live music in and around the wonderful cathedral city of Wangaratta and runs from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November, 2018.
The Linton Festival was started in 2001 when some of the regulars of The Alma Inn, Linton, (near Ross-on-Wye) in the outstanding beautiful countryside of Herefordshire, realised it would be cheaper to get a band to come play at their place rather than hire a mini bus and drive all the way to Dorset. So instead of having one band, they thought “what the hell?” and so booked the whole weekend and got the beer in.
This festival is particularly special to the band as Starlite was born in Ross-on-Wye - a wonderful homecoming where the band will be playing music from their worldwide critically acclaimed debut album 'Blueberry Pie' plus music from Campbell's first two solo albums and new material.
Following multiple warm up gigs on the Isle of Man, the Starlite Campbell Band will be touring Europe and the UK later in the year which includes dates at the Tuesday Night Music Club - London, Blues at the Bay (Unplugged) - Stockton on Tees, Saltburn Blues Club - Saltburn, The Iron Road - Evesham, The Cluny 2 - Newcastle and The Met, Bury with more to be announced.
With a background in commercial radio and a love for stories and all things music, it was only a matter of time before the duo started The Supertone Show which began as a series of specialist shows playing music and and chatting about the inspirational people who make it.
Glyn Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Who, Neil Young, The Faces)
From Led Zeppelin to Laura Marling, The Black Keys to Rory Gallagher, First Aid Kit to Lou Reed, Donna Summer to Al Green and the drumming inspiration of the inimitable James Gadson. The Supertone Show makes music personal and exciting where Suzy & Simon have fun exchanging stories chatting about all things music and the people who make it!
'The Supertone Show is broadcast weekly every Thursday on Rock Radio UK at 1600 (GMT/UT), repeated again on Friday at 0900 (GMT/UT) and available to stream and download every Sunday at 2000 (GMT/UT) on Mixcloud, Spotify, iTunes, iHeartRadio and most streaming services.