written for Probemusic,
Famously, an Italian city. Less famously, the name of my girlfriend's
goldfish. Somewhere between the two, but closer to the fish, Florence
is also the name under which The Stars of Aviation released their
debut Ted Glen EP. John Peel played it (a rite of passage completed)
and the band felt that they'd achieved more than ever seemed likely
when they came together (Nathan: "we were thrown together by chance")
to enter The Univision Song Contest at Cambridge University.
student band, then? Andy: "we're not desperate to be known as a
student band. Ha Ha!" Being students has its upside - there's plenty
of colleges to get gigs at: Andy: "Our first gig was at a Halloween
party, so there were lots of people dressed as the devil with pitchforks."
Nathan: "We were playing really quiet, chilled stuff because we
didn't have a drummer and we only had about five songs. It was terrible.
I don't know why we didn't just give up then. It's a credit to us
that we carried on after that." But being a student also has its
downside: three of the band have been studying abroad for the last
year, which plays havoc with rehearsals. Andy: "I was stuck in St.
Petersburg and it was bloody cold."
cheer themselves up they self-released The Greatest Disappointment
EP in April. Despite apt comparisons to Mercury Rev, a better touchstone
is Low - but younger and very British. There's emotion in the beautifully
slow songs, but its mostly repressed and only visible between the
lines. The title track is a gentle waltz of self deprecation, an
edge-of-the-abyss song, if you could only see the signs. Nathan,
sweetly, says: "I've been listening to it quite a bit. I probably
wouldn't have if we'd been together, but while I was away it was
a nostalgic reminder of the guys. Whenever I felt down, I just listened
to Andy's solo on The Boy Who Held His Breath Too Long. "
plans, seemingly made up on the spot, include "a split single with
a band people have heard of. We'd be the band nobody had heard of,
on the b-side." And the big-name band? Nathan: "The Trembling Blue
Stars.. I've only heard one song by them actually.. We haven't really
thought this through to be honest."
Greatest Disappointment EP is available from Rough Trade and Pennyblack
music. The band expect to be playing London dates during the Summer.