As Fightstar gear up to make their live return at Wembley Arena next year, the group have spoken about plans for their return, looking back on their 20th anniversary and finding an unlikely fan in Ed Sheeran.
The London band, which began life as the side project of Busted’s Charlie Simpson, will headline the 12,000 capacity arena on March 22 2024, marking their first gig since 2015.
The show will mark 20 years of the group and the idea was first bandied about after the group met up in Northampton earlier this year for the 40th birthday of guitarist Alex Westaway.
Speaking to Rolling Stone UK after the show was announced, the group explained how the time away gave them an opportunity to realise how influential they had been for a generation of rock fans.
“Fightstar had managed to resonate with a generation of people in a way that I didn’t quite realise until a long time after we went on hiatus,” explained Simpson.
“We had an amazing time and we were very proud of the records we released, but it was only after we’d hung up the hat for a while that I realised we’d built a fan base that was very dedicated and the band meant a lot of them. I’d speak to people on a constant basis and they’d just tell me how much those Fightstar records really spoke to them.”
One of them, Simpson explained, came in the unlikely form of Ed Sheeran.
“I remember he he did an interview with Zane Lowe a few years ago and Zane Lowe said to him ‘would you consider doing any different genres?’
“He said if he would do a different genre, it’d be something like Fightstar and explained that we were a big part of his musical journey as a 16 or 17 year old.
“I actually saw him a couple of weeks ago because he came on stage and, and, and did a song with Busted at The O2. We were just talking about Fightstar and he said ‘oh, Grand Unification is one of my favourite albums’ and he started singing one of the songs to me.
“I thought that was amazing. I knew he was into rock music, because obviously he’d done a collaboration with Bring Me The Horizon. But yeah, I think he said he came to watch us at the UEA in Norwich in around 2006 with his dad. So that was awesome.”
But while the band say they’re planning to give it all for the Wembley show, fans shouldn’t expect new material just yet.
“It’s a one-off show for the foreseeable and I just wanted to reiterate that,” said drummer Omar Abidi.
“We’re definitely open to stuff in the future, but it’s important for fans to know that this show is gonna be a one off show and we’re not playing that game of, let’s see if we can fill it and then book more dates. This is very much our birthday party celebration. Be there, be there, or be very square.”