Saturday, 19 April 2014

Starsailor – Bristol Academy (05/04/2009)

Starsailor “It’s taken us ten years to start making an effort!” James Walsh exclaimed, on speaking to his Bristolian audience for the first time. Such was the rousing quality of ‘Tie Up My Hands’ and ‘In The Crossfire’, Starsailor’s first two numbers this evening, that this supposedly new-found sense of endeavour may well be beginning to pay off.

While only the band themselves will really know whether or not they have genuinely upped their game, nobody can argue with the reception afforded them by tonight’s Academy crowd.

‘Poor Misguided Fool’ and ‘Silence Is Easy’ were greeted with the type of vociferous cheers normally reserved for a home match at Ashton Gate, while the majority also seemed to warm to newer material like ‘Tell Me It’s Not Over’ and ‘Stars And Stripes’ as if they had been around for years.

The band also sprung a surprise or two thanks to an occasional foray into cover version territory, with brief dalliances through Elvis Presley’s ‘Can't Help Falling in Love’ and Oasis’ ‘Some Might Say’ both going down a treat.

Walsh proved once again to be an engaging frontman, joking and smiling between tracks, but still able to instantly adopt the forlorn, heartbroken persona necessary for the songs themselves. One minute he was laughing along with the floor, the next he was launching into the sombre, piano-laden opening bars of ‘Alcoholic’.

A well-received set concluded with an acoustic rendition of ‘Lullaby’, the upbeat rhythms of ‘Four To The Floor’ and an extended full-on jam to round off ‘Good Souls’, all serving to highlight the variety of matieral Starsailor have built up over the years, alongside a feeling of professionalism and tightness which many artists would do well to emulate. Perhaps spending the best part of a decade in the game has turned them into seasoned pros.

Despite last month’s release of their new ‘All The Plans’ LP, Starsailor have dipped slightly under the radar in recent times. However, tonight’s show provided proof that the Lancashire collective remain capable of playing this country’s big stages, with plenty to offer the live circuit four albums into their career. Their effort is certainly appreciated.

Rating: 4/5

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STORY DETAILS
Published: 07/04/2009 at 05:19
Author: Charlie Ashcroft
Links: Permanent Link Articles Author Blog
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