Those of you who have visited this website more often, have probably heard of A New International before. If not, then certainly you’ve heard of The Starlets, which was the name of the band led by singer Biff Smith in the past. Even though they missed their bass player and their drummer for their session at our Influences night at The Glad Cafe in Glasgow last November, they played one of the best shows I’ve ever witnessed.
The Starlets were the first Scottish band I ever brought over to The Netherlands for a tour, back in 2009, after having filmed them during my first visit to their city. A couple more tours followed, both full band and Biff Smith solo, and Smith was featured on the second Traditionals album we released, amongst some big Dutch names. They stole (and broke) hearts wherever they played, be it in Utrecht, Zwolle, The Hague, Amsterdam or Rotterdam.
After releasing three albums under that name, they’ve decided to change it to A New International, due to the new direction their new – yet unreleased – album is heading. You can hear some of the influences that led to this decision in the two covers they played at The Glad Cafe. I’ve seem them play on many occasions, and have been stunned a lot of those times, but this night – although in a different line up than expected – there was something extra special to them. You could feel that everyone in the room noticed it.
The band is almost always great, but lead singer Biff Smith performed as if there was no tomorrow. It doesn’t even matter if he sings in English, French or Swahili for that matter. When Scotland becomes an independent country, Biff Smith should be named president.
A New International
The Glad Cafe
Carla (sound & light engineer)