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Electric Picnic 2010 - Stars

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ATL | 01:39 UK time, Saturday, 4 September 2010

Cosby Stage, Friday 3rd Spetember, 9.45pm

Describe in a tweet: A heartbreaking work of staggering genius.

Stars at Electric Picnic photo by Carrie Davenport www.carriedavenport.com
What happened: There's always been a theatricality at the heart of Stars, that nagging sensation that "sincerity" is a foreign country to them. But when Torquil Campbell beats his chest and tells the crowd how much this all means to him, the illusion of theatricality is shattered, revealing a real life or death need to communicate this music. And for any preconception of a certain "iciness" to what they do, the crowd are with them every step of the way. As Campbell and bassist Evan Cranley throw roses into the audience, it becomes obvious - this is a celebration, and we are all invited.

Liberally plundering from their now sizeable back catalogue, as well as their new album, the band tear into the songs, living them out onstage. Co-frontperson Amy Milan is an absolutely captivating presence, possessing one of the most beautiful and evocative voices in contemporary music, and providing a brilliant counterpoint to the tortured seriousness of Torquil Campbell.

This is the soundtrack to a million broken hearts, an eternity of thwarted high-school dreams; Stars sing songs of love and sex, life and death, hope and despair, and they sing it for every single one of us.

Electric Dreams: During 'Take me to the Riot', the music reaches an emotional highpoint, and ATL becomes aware that it has a smile plastered over its face, and tears running down its cheeks. This is music.

Ants at my Picnic: There's a guy with a whistle, showing his appreciation by blowing constantly. Somehow, he must be missing the point.

EP Rating: 9/10


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