Big Star, Robyn Hitchcock
Steve Ellis 28/08/2008
Big Star have been the cool name to drop as an influence for a good few years now. This is justifiable, judging by their recorded output. Live, however, the story is slightly different.
The songs are still great, when main-man Alex Chilton can be bothered to sing them. However, too often the vocal duties were cheaply handed over to the former Posies and Big Star auxiliary members, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow.
The only occasion this really worked during the gig was when the band tackled Chris Bell's I Am The Cosmos.
Maybe we've listened to the records so much that we can't stand to have them anything but note perfect? However, all the nostalgia in the world doesn't make up for the fact that Big Star were decidedly lacklustre during the show.
The set was laden with songs from the first and second albums and included a few numbers from 2005's mediocre In Space, with the exception of Thank you
Friends, Big Star's third was all but ignored.
Of course September Girls was played, as was the rocker O My Soul but it's hard to fathom why there was no room for Oh Dana or Kizza Me when the encore was a cover of the Beach Boys Wouldn't it be Nice. It is all well and good celebrating someone else's legacy but not at the expense of your own. Of course that won't matter to fans, who are just happy to see the name on the t-shirt.