Stars and Sons — ‘I’m a bit of a dictator’

Mike Lord is a classical music graduate and former bin man-turned small time pop star. Hailing from the sunny sights of Brighton, he and four friends make up Stars and Sons who this week have undertaken a mammoth task — 30 gigs in seven days.

Lord said: “I’m not entirely sure why, we just wanted to make it as hard as possible for ourselves because we’ve done a little tour recently and we had a van and it wasn’t very nice.

“We’d get to our venues and we’d sit around for sort of four hours and then play and then go to someone’s house and I don’t know. It seemed like we could do a lot more with our time while away, kind of thing, so we thought we’d really like up the ante and to do this.”

There is a lot at stake for Lord if the band doesn’t manage to pull it off. “I have quite a large beard and the thing is that if we fail then I’m going to shave my beard off, which seems a bit more like a punishment for me than anyone else in the band, but yeah that’s it. We’ve got to succeed, we’ve actually got to succeed.”

Stars and Sons are planning to hold 30 gigs in just one week. Photo: Stars and Sons

The band updates their Twitter after each gig and all seems to be going well. You’d have thought though that after 30 performances in such a short time that it would get repetitive, but Lord disagrees.

“I think because all the gigs are so different it’ll be interesting for us to see how different people receive it, so it’s going to be a bit different because we’re playing in a couple of offices and we’re playing at people’s houses.

“We’ve been playing the songs for a couple years already so I think we probably if we were going to get bored of them, we would have got bored of them by now and we’re playing them completely differently. Like I’m playing ukulele instead of piano and we’ve got a little percussion set up as well.”

Stars and Sons also put a lot of effort into studio recordings, as well as live performances. Take a glance at their music videos and you’ll see an exuberant energy, which has been maintained in live performances despite the repetitiveness.

The videos are largely band led, starring and being directed by Lord and friends, and this is the way it should be. Lord said: “I’m a bit of a dictator and I quite like to do things my own way, so if someone came in and said ‘have a load of money you can do things how you want to do them’ I’d say okay then and I’d give up my job at the pub. I think things have started to be shifted around and put more towards focus groups and things like that and that’s not something that I’m really into.”

The band are currently working on their second album and Lord hopes that it can be released next summer along with another “whacky tour”.

“If we can get some funding and self release it then we wouldn’t have to wait around for a year, but I think it’s important, to just like keep stuff going, and we’re all reasonably self sufficient so we’re not looking to get signed up by a major [label] or anything, but it would be nice,” Lord said.

You can listen to Stars and Sons on their MySpace page.

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