Starsailor – Liverpool Lomax – 24/03/2001

This isn’t another New Acoustic band.  Starsailor are far too exciting for that.  The band ‘most likely to do a Coldplay’ is also a bit insulting to their potential and for now they are just a small band playing a small venue.  Perhaps a sign of things to come however, as tonight is completely sold out.  But playing tunes of this sort of dizzying calibre is certainly a way to begin your professional life.

This is a lineage – to say this band are Buckley-esque is self-evident yet inspirational.  Influenced by both Tim and Jeff Buckley, Starsailor are musically descendants of this genealogy, (hardly surprising then that they are named after a Tim Buckley album), but also infuse Buckelyisms with a more optimistic slant.  These are powerful, emotional songs, with singer James Walsh’s fantastic voice providing the focal point at virtually every turn, its very difficult to think this band will not succeed.

And of course they will – their debut, (a Top 20 single – unheard of for a debut single by an Indie band, surely), ‘Fever’ is sublime, all crooning and glory, whilst next single ‘Good Souls’ is much more spine-tingling live than the weak recording suggests.  The stand-out has to be ‘Alcoholic’, however, in all its unashamed beauty, it’s one of the songs that could well make Starsailor massive, and perhaps deservedly so.

But perhaps is the biggest word here.  ‘Perhaps’ they will be the next Coldplay or Travis, but bands like that only get stomached by the mass media because they are…well, a bit bland.  It is unclear from this showing whether Starsailor have the strength in depth to be a better band than those they are being lumped together with.  If they have, they’ll sell less records.  Ah well.  Such is the merry-go-round of artistic licence.  Love them now because in six months you might not be able to.

Collen Chandler

P.S. Not wanting to worry anyone, doesn’t this read like a Coldplay review from about, oooh, a year ago?