Starsailor - M.E.N Arena - 14.12.01

In a moment it could all fall apart but the fragile backbone of Starsailor is bolstered by the lungs of a certain James Walsh. The year started with a "Fever" before the "Good Souls" made him feel higher than the government and as December drew to a close we all slept soundly with a "Lullaby". These songs may not be the songs of a generation just yet and maybe time will show them up for the "Poor Misguided Fools" they clearly are but tonight they shine like no other. In the support slot for their heroes the Charlatans they really set about proving to the audience that the future perhaps is more positive than fellow northern types Elbow would have you believe.

There's a real sense of U2 about the whole proceedings and although its with this you really can understand why Mogwai have such a grudge against the likes of Starsailor and co. Out of all the current crop of frontmen it really is James Walsh you can imagine will jump headfirst into the Bono-lite of the white line and religion. For the time being they're still young and fresh faced and during "Good Souls" a slide series of serious musicians like Tim Buckley and John Lennon are book ended by Homer and Lisa Simpson. A small but telling point to all those that claim that music has become over sensitive and over serious.

Starsailor proved that they really can fill those stadiums and to quote Nicki Chapman "the camera loved you and you made that stage your own". Just two weeks ago in this very venue the Stereophonics proved that they just didn't have the charisma or stage presence to fill the stage and in one support slot Starsailor proved the opposite. They may not have the sex appeal of the Strokes or the White Stripes but I get a feeling that Starsailor are going to around for a lot longer than they're detractors would like them to be.

Alex McCann