Starsailor is a northern band originating from Wigan in Lancashire, UK. The members met at Wigan and Leigh College, first bursting onto the music scene as performers in 2001. Their irresistibly dashing good looks and spectacular music attracted attention to their debut album, "Love Is Here",which sold over a million copies, and earned the band the accolade of "Brightest New Hope" at the NME Awards.
Of the time, James Walsh, the band's lead singer / song writer said
"The whole thing was amazing. It was like being catapulted into a world of madness. There was no preparation for it at all. We never thought there would be any negativity towards us because for the best part of a year everything we read or heard about ourselves was incredibly positive. We were totally unprepared when the digs started coming".
The band subsequently released a number of albums. Their fascinating lyrics can be found here and particularly addictive performances can be seen in their songs "Floor to Floor", "Cross Fire" and the soul crushing "White Light" which features the lamenting lyrics"onwards to forever, our minds belong together".
Unfairly criticised by the music media as being "outdated", the band's popularity has declined and, along with it, their media exposure. This has meant that the vast majority of people have not had the opportunity to hear the brilliant quality of Starsailor's music. The band aims to play real music for real people, and, unsurprisingly, their albums have had wonderfully positive reviews from the public on Amazon.co.uk. It is therefore puzzling that more effort has not been made into publicising this talented band.
Their last album, "All The Plans", demonstrated elegant and original song writing with strong vocals. In 2008, James wrote of it,
"There has been an emphasis on strong melodies and simple arrangements for this album and the guitar playing of Richard Warren has definitely enhanced the sound."
But, by 2009, James Walsh announced that Starsailor was on hold following disappointing sales of this same album. He told the local paper, "
"It was really hinging on what happened with the album because we put so much into it and worked really hard making it. We just thought, why get back on that treadmill and struggle on trying to get on Radio One playlists. I think sometimes it's good to stop playing the game for a while."
Not one to give up, shut his guitar case and retire into oblivion, James Walsh reinvented himself and carried on performing as a solo artist. In 2009, he did a tour with The Lightning Seeds. In 2010, James' insightful interview for the website, Skiddle.com showed that he was still a man of action.
He told the website:
"I'm pretty busy at the moment. I have recently completed writing the soundtrack for the film 'Powder' [See On Fire ] based on Kevin Sampsons Novel. Which was recorded with 'The Rascals (minus the now solo Miles Kane)' and myself starring Alfie Allen, Liam Boyle and Ralf Little. I am also set to work on another soundtrack for a high profile book adaptation but the negotiations are ongoing so I don't want to reveal too much! I'm also co writing with various people most recently Dutch singer Ilse De Lange and I am going to Norway to record an EP and do a live TV show with the Tromso orchestra."
James Walsh's website documents his current activities, including the forthcoming single, "Start Again", for his Lullaby project, which is due to debut on the 30th July, 2012. Walsh's style has certainly matured, and he appears to be experimenting with his creativity. His solo work is a musically lavish tapestry that takes the listener on an emotional journey. Walsh creates intelligent music, which is a wonderful change from the mainstream "love drive" pop machinery. Moreover, his talent for beautiful poetic lyrics touches the heart of anyone who listens to his songs. The human yet passionate nature of his music grabs the listeners' attention.
There is something honest and real about James Walsh and Star Sailor, possibly because they retain the charm of northern men. There is no glitz, no glamour nor is there any sense of material importance. They provide music with integrity to the audience in front of them. The band and Walsh are spectacular live performers who are able to deliver a song with just a voice and a guitar. The most important admirable aspect about them is that although many may have given up on them, but they have not given up on themselves. Walsh believes in his music and quite rightly so. He writes real music for real people. We all hope that Starsailor will return soon because we need their brand of real music to make the world real.
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