Norwich bound band Starsailor still soundtracking the lives of fans

Noughties indie-hitmakers Starsailor are heading back to Norwich. Picture: MP Promoations

Noughties indie-hitmakers Starsailor are heading back to Norwich. Picture: MP Promoations - Credit: Archant

Emotional indie hit-makers return to Norwich this weekend promising greatest hits and some new material.

Prepare to get emotional as epic, high-voiced indie types Starsailor return to Norwich this weekend still riding the success of their well received reunion.

Starsailor's initial run of success saw both their Love is Here debut album and the 2003 follow-up, Silence is Easy, hit the top five on the charts as they racked up to a total of three million sales album in the early years of the millennium.

The post-Britpop band, initially called Waterface before they changed their name to Starsailor after the 1970 album by Tim Buckley, first shot to prominence in 2001 with the release of their debut single, Fever.

After an early NME live review drew glowing comparisons with Neil Young, The Verve and Coldplay, their 2001 debut album reached number two shortly before they won the Philip Hall Radar award for best new band at the NME Awards and Best New Act at the Q Awards.

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The following year they were nominated for Best British Newcomer at the BRIT Awards.

After a five-year hiatus, the band reformed in 2014, enjoying triumphant festival performances at the Isle of Wight Festival and V Festival, plus special guest to James on their UK tour. Last year saw them tour in China, Korea, and a co-headline tour of the US and Canada with Embrace.

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The band, who are frequently described as being from Wigan, even though only one member is actually from the town, have over the years enjoyed more than their fair share of prestigious gigs, supporting the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Police, The Killers and U2 all over the world.

Their return was swiftly followed by the release of a well received collection biggest hits on Good Souls: The Greatest Hits. The album was accompanied by the band's first headline UK tour since 2009.

Now the band arrives at the Waterfront this weekend as part of their Out in the Fields of Winter tour that will see the them playing weepy pop-rock noughties hits like Four to the Floor.

'It's been over 15 years since the band first formed and the songs still mean something to people,' said frontman James Walsh, who makes up the band alongside James Stelfox (bass), Ben Byrne (drums) and Barry Westhead (keyboards). 'They still sing the words passionately back at us at gigs. We hear stories of how songs have soundtracked key moments in their lives'

The greatest hits album kicks off with the band's three biggest hits in the shape of Good Souls, Silence is Easy and Alcoholic, but it also includes a further seven Top 40 hits, as well as deeper cuts such as Tie Up My Hands and Fidelity which became staples of the band's live shows.

The fact that the band's original young fans have now moved on into their twenties and thirties has given added significance to some of their songs. 'That's why we felt it was the right time to release this album - hopefully if the songs mean this much to our loyal fans this collection can help spread the word wider,' said James. 'People who know us for Four To The Floor or Alcoholic can delve a little deeper.'

Though essentially a greatest hits compilation, Good Souls also included two brand new tracks Give Up The Ghost and Hold On, which were recently recorded with producer Harry Rutherford at the famous Fisher Lane Studios in Surrey.

'Give Up The Ghost came from the energy of being back together after so much time,' explains Walsh. 'It's about not being ready to give up on something despite the challenges that you face.'

Hold On is a ballad. 'The lyrics are about reassuring someone who has their life ahead of them and passing wisdom onto them. We wanted to get an anthemic chorus which should get the crowd going.'

Both tracks have been well received and you can expect to hear more new material as they land in Norwich.

Walsh explains: 'We've been busy working on some new tunes and we can't wait to road-test a couple of them along with the old favourites.'

t Starsailor play the Waterfront, King Street, Norwich, on December 17, 6.30pm, £21.50, 01603 508050,

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