The Starcrawler show at Valley Bar started with a cacophony of noise screaming from Henri Cash (guitar), Tim Franco (bass) and Austin Smith (drums).
The sound rose and built until Arrow de Wilde (lead singer) stumbled on stage looking lost and over dosed. As the band came to time in first down beats of Castaway de Wilde, with her back turned, snapped to form. And as the band launched into the song she tripped her way to the mic…
On stage De Wilde exudes menace and glammed out beauty. Using her stage presence as a weapon she leads the band with a take no fucking prisoners unapologetic attitude slapping phones out of audience member hands and spitting water into the crowd when she can’t stomach it.
Between songs she looks at guitarist Henri Cash begging him to stop playing at each break. And Cash, unrelenting continues, using the music to summon de Wilde to form again as she rubs her jockstrap up and down the mic stand and beats her head with the mic.
It is beautiful terror as she works her way to a different mixed frenzy of Jagger’s swagger and Bowie’s alien nature during each number.
It is sex. It is blood. It is fear. It is fucking hard as hell and it is Rock n Roll. The kind that I haven’t seen in a very very long time.
Cash plays his beautiful guitars like a man possessed with a grin better found on a serial killer- completely aware that his Good-Country-Boy-Showman-Gone-Bad act drives the show. Where de Wilde shrinks and downplays the crowds adulation Cash enjoys the attention; even walking through the crowd and playing on the Valley Bar’s bar. Bassist Tim Franco, looking like a misplaced Tenenbaum Brother, plays bass expressionless only letting slip the occasional sly smile at the heights of de Wilde’s on stage madness. Drummer Austin Smith looks concerned at times as the band’s rhythmic back bone but steps back at line at the beginning of each new song.
Starcrawler spends the show proving with their specific brand of dirty Rock n Roll, they are here to fuck you up. And it doesn’t matter if are were hip to it. It is coming at you at a fuzzed out five hundred miles an hour.
Starcrawler leaves shock in the air and blood on the floor. It would be camp if it didn’t feel soo real and I left the show questioning my own artistic loyalties.
I come from the theatre. And while this was Rock n Roll, this was Rock n Roll theatre. To say they are merely a “developing act” is trite. To call what de Wilde does on stage “antics” doesn’t do her commitment to her performance justice. De Wilde’s theatrics felt motivated, specific to her, and within her character. Anything was possible from her, and that danger pervaded the show. Starcrawler didn’t ask me to suspend my disbelief, their performance demanded it. And using details as small as not talking between numbers, losing all stage lights between numbers, nobody introducing the band, not introducing the songs, etc… added to the mystery.
I felt that if they were doing this for themselves, 30 people, or a stadium – the play would go on and de Wilde would spit blood and choke herself with the mic cord because she had to.
If you get the chance and you want to realize that everything you have made or seen is shit – go bleed with Starcrawler.