Big Star – Live in Memphis

big star 60


During the mid-1980’s Big Star and more importantly Alex Chilton were names being bandied about in interviews with just about every London based Indie band; and cited as a ‘huge influence.’ Especially Blur.

As an Oasis fan myself, I never bothered researching them; even when a very pretty female  student excitedly bought one of their CD’s at the next till to me in Glasgow (I can be quite shallow at times).

So it was with great interest that I chose to review this release of a ‘rare recoding’ of their homecoming gig in 1994; and sadly I’ll never get these three hours back.

For the life of me I can’t see what all of the fuss was about.

The album begins with a “Hello” from the stage and a huge cheer from the crowd and everything goes downhill from then on; with sloppy playing and not a single song my memory felt worthy of remembering in its entirety.

On the opening track In The Street Big Star sound like any one of a million Garage Bands from the Nuggets era or; more to the point just about every support act I saw between 1975 and 1990.

For once I have to refer to the Press Release to reference songs you may have heard of:

September Gurls  (deliberately misspelt)  – chunky guitar and an attempt at a ‘pop tune.’

The Ballad of El Goodo – a poor attempt at a Buffalo Springfield country sound.

I Am The Cosmos – sounds like band and singer are performing two different songs.

Slut – could have been written by a hormonal 13 year old boy.

Perhaps somewhere in here are gems of songs; but the band sound like they’ve only just met that day and this is a practice session; not the glorious homecoming after a 20 year absence that it is meant to be; and don’t get me started on the drummer who thinks he’s Keith Moon but sounds like my 2 year old Grandson.

I’m 99% sure someone is going to suggest I check out the Big Star back catalogue – let me tell you that is never going to happen after this fiasco.




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