I had the pleasure of speaking to the extremely talented Suzy Starlite and Simon Campbell, who are full time musicians, living in beautiful Samora Correia in Santarém, since October 2020.
The duo formed the European and British blues award nominated Starlite Campbell Band back in 2016 and have travelled almost everywhere, performing at numerous shows and festivals. The band’s genre is mid-60s to early 70s British Rock and Blues and Suzy Starlite is a vocalist, song writer and plays bass, keyboards and guitar. Simon Campbell is also a vocalist, record producer, song writer and guitar player. They radiate such positivity at such a difficult time and their new second album “The Language of Curiosity” is sure to speak to you in volumes and leave you feeling inspired.
They were both musicians prior to forming Starlite Campbell. Suzy told me more about how the band was formed explaining that “it was quite exciting how we met, Simon already had a record deal before we met and toured all over the UK and I had gone the other route, I played French horn at school and at 16, I got a guitar and I was just driven to write. I think there are sometimes conversations that you can’t say in words and if you frame it in a song, you can get through to people better that way. I was song writing and Simon heard some of my songs and helped me get a band together which was called “Starlite”, where he was the guitarist of the band. We did gigs as a band and accidentally ended up falling in love. Simon has a depth in his soul and we have gone on, and are still going on, bold adventurers together, we have been real nomadic music travellers!”
Their new album “The Language of Curiosity” is coming out with a bang, quite literally as it will be available on the 5 November, Bonfire Night. Simon went on to tell me that “it has been easy to write but it has been a torturous experience recording wise due to pandemic travel restrictions, despite this, some of the keyboards were remarkably recorded in ‘Rockfield Studios’, Wales where Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Suzy went on to tell me more about the new album: “Each song is different and explores modern day issues, we use really interesting sounds. We are modern day storytellers, trying to bring facets of what it is like to be alive now, like little time capsules, which is why all the sounds are so varied.” It differs quite drastically to their first album “Blueberry Pie” and “all the stuff you are hearing from us, all the techniques sound human, as we record it all live and acoustically. There is a lot of acoustic and full-on rock and roll reflecting the lyrics.”
‘Distant Land’ is about the Refugee Crisis, which is of course a global issue. The second one is about Populus leaders called ‘Gaslight’ and the third one and also the title of the album is quite different but it is about being curious in the world we live in today and has double vocal harmonies. ‘Take time to grow old’, “touches your heart, it’s a call to not age now, what would you like to do. It is an inspiring track, instead of just drifting day to day, as it urges you to try something new as life is still left to be lived.”
Additionally, they love playing in front of a live audience, “we are returning to the UK for 14 dates in October and then we are off to the Netherlands for a festival, Germany and a tour in Czech Republic. We have a gig planned for the South of Lisbon, and we are looking to play all over Portugal and Spain. The pandemic has put the world two years behind; it’s been difficult to schedule tours and gigs due to the pandemic.” Suzy’s gentle reminder is that if you like a band, “please get the ticket and go and support them, as they really need the support as the Music Industry is in tatters.”
They have kindly shared with me three more albums that are to come. Firstly, an acoustic album called “The Coat”, which “is mostly written and part recorded. It is stripped back and includes really intimate songs, with acoustic bass and piano. The story behind “The Coat” is so special because it is dedicated to Suzy’s mum and wanting to “love and hold her”. Suzy’s mum “had early onset Alzheimer’s and when we were getting married, I sat at a piano and wrote a love letter to my mum, thinking about how I wish I could share that moment with her.” “The second album to come will be a digital release only of covers that we love and we have a third electric album, we have virtually written which is another one that will be out soon.” They also told me that they tour as an acoustic duo and “want to play locally and definitely would like to play some gigs and house concerts in the Algarve!”, so there are definitely more exciting things to come from Starlite Campbell.
I urge you to please check out this fantastic band, they have given “their heart and soul to” their new album ‘The Language of Curiosity’ and it will be available on all platforms on the 5 November. You can pre-order their exciting new album now, on their website at http://starlite-campbell.com. Similarly, you can also find them on Spotify at “Starlite Campbell Band”.