In August 2017, the Star Shaped Festival brought a line up of classic Britpop to four cities. The events were much loved by fans, not least of all because the festival featured the unexpected return of Sleeper.
The London event was great: The Bluetones presented a great set of hits and the night caught Mark Morriss in a particularly humorous mood. Sleeper were greeted like returning heroes and My Life Story’s Jake Shillingford showed how to slowly win the hearts of a packed venue who weren’t necessarily fans of his band an hour previously. [In Manchester a week earlier, he’d managed to stage some brilliant audience participation in tribute to the passing of the broadcasting legend Bruce Forsyth…and MLS’s appearance at Star Shaped’s xmas party was similarly thrilling.]
Those who were there talked about Star Shaped for weeks. Some are still talking about it six months later! It’s only natural, then, that further similar events have been confirmed to take place in 2018…and the rumour mill has already quietly started to grind with regards to a line-up.
Here are a few things Real Gone thinks are possibilities, some fairly plausible…some not:
Echobelly: An obvious choice for headliner in 2018 They’ve got the history and enough well loved material. They’ve been touring in 2017 and as a possible knock on from all the Star Shaped chatter, their profile has risen.
Gene: If Star Shaped can coax Louise Wener back to a musical career, then Martin Rossiter reviving Gene doesn’t seem like an enormous stretch of the imagination, does it? They would be perfect in the 8:30 slot – and ‘Olympian’ sounds better now than ever. Star Shaped would be the ideal time for a reunion, even if brief. Given that he’s working on solo material, it’s unlikely Rossiter would take a step back into nostalgia, though. Even less likely since he’s said he’d “rather eat his own penis…fried with shallots” that get Gene back together. We can probably rule this one out, but it doesn’t change how much we’d love to see them again.
Marion: Sometimes overlooked in the annals of Britpop related things, Marion had some decent songs and a loyal following. They’re probably more likely contenders to appear than Gene, although we haven’t asked any band members about eating their own body parts. Perhaps we think Marion are a strong possibility since they started following us on Twitter yesterday! We’ve never covered the band at Real Gone before, or even mentioned them, so it must be all of our Star Shaped tweets that have attracted them. Coincidence? Maybe… Maybe not… We’ll see.
Salad: Paul and Marijne opened the 2017 Star Shaped events in the guise of their Salad Undressed duo and the full Salad are set to play live shows in early 2018. At the end of 2017, they shared a stage with Echobelly, so a return to Star Shaped with the full band set certainly shouldn’t be ruled out. [Read a review of Salad’s ‘Lost Album: Vol. 1’ here]
My Life Story: Jake Shillingford and company went down such a storm last year, we predict a second invite in 2018. Why not?
Th Supernaturals: These guys released a couple of cracking singles in the 90s. Their albums seem to live in charity shops these days, but much like Space, something like Star Shaped would allow more people to re-evaluate their work. Are we half-convinced of an appearance since they started following us on Twitter an hour or so before Marion? Could be.
An official Star Shaped announcement is due in a week or so…