Post-hardcore foursome just full of surprises
IN 2005, Charlie Simpson, frontman of pop trio Busted, left the group to devote his energies to his new alternative rock band.
Shortly afterwards, Busted split up, leaving fans heartbroken. But four years on, Charlie's rock band, Fightstar, is holding its own on the music scene.
Charlie Simpson, front, broke teenyboppers' hearts when he left Busted in 2005 to concentrate on Fightstar
As well as headlining its own tours, the up-and-coming, four-piece, post-hardcore band has supported groups including Funeral for a Friend and Feeder.
Now, after months in the studio putting the finishing touches to its latest album, Fightstar is again touring the UK, and will perform at Exeter University's Lemon Grove on Monday.
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Fightstar formed in 2003 after guitarist Alex Westaway and lead singer Charlie Simpson met at a party. They were soon joined by bassist Dan Haigh and drummer Omar Abidi.
The band's debut EP, They Liked You Better When You Were Dead, received rave reviews and its first single Paint Your Target reached number nine in the UK charts. Since then, the band has released the full-length albums Grand Unification and One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours.
It also released a B-side compilation album Alternate Endings.
Its third and latest album, Being Human, which Fightstar has described as its most ambitious record to date, is a self-funded release.
The album was released in partnership with the band's management company Raw Power through new label Search and Destroy in April.
Be Human has spawned two singles — The English Way, which reached number 62 in the UK singles chart and number one in the rock chart, and Mercury Summer, which reached number 46 in the UK charts and number one in the UK rock charts.
Fightstar has also had some success in America — a notoriously difficult place for British bands to make an impression.
A new version of They Liked You Better When You Were Dead was released through Deep Elm Records in America in 2006.
In the same year, Fightstar was listed by the US rock magazine Alternative Press as one of the 100 bands to watch for.
If you are expecting Fightstar to sound like Busted, prepare to be surprised. The group is influenced by groups such as Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails and the audience can expect a heavy guitar and vocal mix.
Fightstar will be supported by Laruso and In Case Of Fire.
The gig at the Lemon Grove starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12.50. Details: 01392 263518.