Hard Rocking Amigos

It's been a while since we last caught up with hard rockers Dear Superstar and there have clearly been a few changes in that time. There's a new bass player for a start and it has to be said he fits the image better than the previous incumbent, infact the image all round has got a whole lot better; they look more like a cohesive unit these days, where before they just didn't look quite right as a band.

More important though is the material, it really sounds like they've been working hard and have knocked out some impressive tracks. Don't get me wrong, there wasn't anything majorly wrong with the old material but it lacked the killer hook and the big chorus, something they seem to have solved to good effect. Of course it's still glam metal but it's much catchier and to the point. Where they struggle today is with the tiny stage, it just wasn't built for five guys who really want to rock out and the poor old bass player is all too often sandwiched in-between front man Mickey and a guitarist or two.

Mickey is probably the most engaging front man in the building, it's nothing original but he plays the part very well and constantly moves around and when stuck in the middle of predominantly indie bands he really stands out. His attempts at crowd interaction don't really work today but that's more the fault of a fairly impassive crowd. The guitar parts are good and come through well despite the sound not being too hot and Benj's drums are probably the loudest in this venue all weekend.

There is the odd weaker song, 'Live Love Lie' for instance doesn't quite hit the mark but they make up for it with the superior 'Raised Voices & Confrontations'. Overall it's a good set in front of a hard crowd and they've put the work in over the last year to turn themselves into real contenders. It will be interesting to see if they can really capture the live energy when they head into the studio to record the second album.