Starfighters (1979-1983): a NWOBHM band from Birmingham, UK.


nglish NWOBHM band Starfighters started in Birmingham, England, in late 1979.

Initially called Savage (named after the original lead vocalist, Phil Savage), the founding members, Stevie Young and Barry Spencer Scrannage changed the band's name to Starfighters and released the single, Heaven and Hell (A-side) and I'm Falling (B-side), on the independent record label, 'Motor City Rhythm Records'. A further two singles were recorded and produced in 1980, prior to the band winning their support slot, but were never released. This line-up consisting of Steve Burton (vocals), Pat Hambly (guitar), Stevie Young (guitar), Doug Dennis (bass) and Barry Spencer Scrannage (drums; ex of Glenn Tipton's pre-Judas Priest band Shave 'Em Dry) were signed to 'Zomba' imprint 'Jive Records'.

Starfighters then won a support slot with AC/DC on their 1980 Back in Black tour, during which, Barry Spencer Scrannage left following the death of close personal friend, John Bonham; his position later filled by Steve Bailey. Signing up with Krokus manager Butch Stone, in 1983 they released the follow-up album, In-Flight Movie. 'Jive' however were not prepared to pay for further tour promotions, leaving the band forced to appear only in small British clubs. Despite receiving good reviews and publicity, particularly in Kerrang! magazine, the album failed to do any better than their original and 'Jive' subsequently dropped them. The band folded soon after.

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In 1987, the band reformed with the line-up of Burton (vocals), Young (guitars), Rik Sandford (guitars), Redvers (bass) and Jamie Hawkins (drums). Redvers had been known as Steve Hill up to this point but was rechristened with his middle name to avoid the confusion of having three 'Steves' in the band. Despite attracting a strong local following in Birmingham, the band still could not secure another recording contract and folded again after little more than a year. Sandford and Hawkins had very brief stints with U.F.O. and Hawkwind respectively. Redvers rebadged himself to Steve Redvers and joined The Grip, before linking up with Young and Ian Charles (Chaz) in Little Big Horn.

Starfighters reformed again for a one off show on 10 November 2006 at 'The Roadhouse' in South Birmingham to raise money for charity with the line-up of Burton (vocals), Young (guitars/vocals), Hambly (guitars), Dennis (bass/vocals) and Tony Bayliss (drums).

Scrannage played with Ozzy Osbourne, even and staying at Osbourne's house in 1979, and was briefly in the band Bullion with original Judas Priest members Ernie Chataway and Bruno Stapenhill and, as of 2008, worked as an actor and used to run the Rock Tavern in Hill Street, Brierley Hill.

When bassist Doug Dennis died in 2011, the remaining Starfighters reformed to play at his wake with Stevie Young's son Angus on bass.

In May 2014, Stevie Young replaced his uncle Malcolm Young for the recording of a new AC/DC album and tour.

As of June 2021, Burton was fronting Birmingham blues band Vincent Flatts Final Drive who soon after released their fourth album Back In The Saddle.

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Nation UK
Location Birmingham
Formations 1
Active Years 1979-1983
Last Modified 2023-08-07
Diskery ID 2730

Artists Linked to Starfighters

AC/DC Hawkwind Judas Priest
Krokus Ozzy Osbourne U.F.O.

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