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If you go down to the clubs today…

CUBSTARS is the new pop/dance ManBand featuring young Cub lads from the Bear community, based in the North West of the UK.

Band member Martyn Thomas is the brains behind the concept of a working band where all the members are professional performers. “As an actor you spend the majority of your time out of work. All of the CUBSTARS are involved in other performance projects and CUBSTARS is an opportunity for them to rehearse and perform in between other work. It is a tough industry and we come together to do what we are trained to do and because it’s what we love doing. “
The band’s music is a nice mix of exciting club versions of classic pop tracks as well as original material but all delivered with the main thought to get people up, have a good time and dancing.

Who came up with the name… it’s very clever?
When we first auditioned for guys we thought it would be a cool idea to spin our own version of reality talent show auditions and we assembled a collective of respected professionals from the industry to feature on our panel. The first reality show of this kind was Popstars that created Hearsay. In a natural progression our working title of CUBSTARS became a reality and the name stuck. And we are exactly what it says on the tin.

The line-up has changed over time…. how come so many changes?
We would love CUBSTARS to be our full time job but unfortunately it can’t be…. yet. It does require a certain level of commitment but all the guys have other jobs that we have to work around, they have to earn a living. Andrew has recently left us but is still doing a couple of gigs with us over the summer. Andrew was our Businessman Cub and unfortunately as the band develops he couldn’t commit to the project which is cool. I view the band as a Company of Performers and this is an acting job, anyone in the band could leave as they have their fingers in all sorts of pies. We have to be flexible and the nature of it means the line up will always rotate. For now it is very right and it’s exciting.

The look of the band crosses several gay groups/images who styles you all?
We have been lucky to work with X Factor Stylist Rikki Finlay on our look. We want to look current but at the same time stay true to who we are. We work hard to capture our own styles and not try too hard. We certainly don’t aim to be something that we’re not. Generally we wear clothes that we like and hope that we appeal across the board. CUBSTARS is a community based Act and by that I mean we utilise the skills and talents of those in our community to work with the band. From Choreographers’, Music Producers, Songwriters, Photographers, Graphic Designers and more, we are very lucky and grateful to all of them. We welcome anyone who thinks they have something to offer and in return they get to develop their own skills and portfolios. Our Creative Team work so hard and it is down to their talents and time that we are who we are today. I love and respect them all.

Are all the members gay?
All Band members are gay. We are gay act and no need to hide it. We are who we are and proud of it.

What kind of reaction have you had so far?
In the space of a year the reaction we have had has been overwhelming. I never had any expectations and the opportunities that have come our way and the support we’ve had has just been awesome. Of course there are some that don’t buy into it but that’s cool, we don’t delude ourselves that we are going to be everyone’s thing.

What do you think is the best think about Pride events?
It has to be everyone coming together, celebrating everything we are and how far we have come. It’s also about supporting and promoting current and new initiatives and shouting about how important and good they are.

Favourite style/brand of undies?

Where can people see or hear you perform?
This year the schedule is packed. We have just performed at XXL in London for Bear Pride and also Sheffield Pride. We are doing Belfast Pride on the 30th July, Liverpool Pride on the 7th August, Cardiff Mardi Gras on the 3rd September and on the 25th September we head to Verona in Italy for a big Club Gig. Other Club Gigs across the UK are soon to be announced. It’s really exciting.

Photos: Paul Smither

How would you describe your sound?

Happy Crowd Pleasing Dance Music.

Are there any styles or fetishes we should know about that aren’t up on stage?
I’m kinda branded as the SportyCub and that’s because I love to dress comfortably in a good old Addidas trackie. Just cal me Sue Sylvester! I’m not into overly ‘styled’ gear. I just know what I like.

What do you think is the best thing about Pride events?
A sense of community, and not just with gay people! It’s having heterosexual people celebrating with no prejudice. Imagine that happening 20 short years ago?? Hmmmm. It’s also a time when all your mates make the effort to come together and let their hair down. Mine’s a Vodka-Lemo ta!

Favourite style/brand of undies?
Easy, ill keep this one brief!!! Get it? Terrible joke I know! I just love to be supported and feel like my balls are getting cuddled all day! I tend to wear Calvin’s and Diesel. If you’re really lucky you might catch me wearing a jock strap! That’s only when im dancing though.

How would you describe your sound?
Dirty, sexy, electro pop.

Are there any styles or fetishes we should know about that aren’t up on stage?
I love a good harness, theres something sexy about the combination of being restrained and on show. If I could I’d wear one all the time! ha

What kind of reaction have you had so far?
The reaction so fa r has been great. We have a very supportive fanbase. We gigged at XXL in London recently and my Grindr was going off all night!

What do you think is the best thing about Pride events?
God knows I love a good party. I think it’s important that we can celebrate being who we are in an environment where we can fully express our sexuality and individuality. I also love anything that highlights the political/social issues we still need to combat as a community. Manchester’s Candlelight Vigil is a beautiful example of coming together.

Favourite style/brand of undies ?
Nothing hotter than a nice white jock.

How would you describe your sound?
Pumping Hairy Man Dance with a Pop Edge

Are there any styles or fetishes we should know about that aren’t up on stage?
Rugby shorts! Ggggrrrr!

Who do you admire both musically?
Musically I admire George Michael; he was always playing in the background when I was growing up. His song ‘Freedom’ is one of my personal favourites and has helped me through the good times and the bad!

What do you think is the best thing about Pride events?
The sense of community and the coming together to celebrate who we are in the cities we are from! Its great to be out and proud and to tell the world we are here! And also loads of fit eye candy to flirt with! hehehehe

Favourite style/brand of undies ?
Calvin Klein Black Briefs! Or commando!