Morning folks , been a bit busy lately writing for my music column at #warringtonworldwide magazine , I am really lucky in that respect as (it’s an unpaid voluntary post) I get to see many bands with a press ticket and that’s not really work is it!!

Although the following couple of reviews obviously aren’t unsigned bands, I have had some nice comments on earlier work so I thought it would be nice to post them , hope you enjoy them and please feel free to comment. Don’t forget you can follow us on facebook .

On the 12th September a fundraiser in aid of The Wolves Academy tour of Australia 2024 took place at the 40/20 lounge inside the Halliwell Jones Stadium, it was organised by Alexandra Chicken – Chair of Warrington Wolves Supporters Trust and was generously supported by local, and very popular band Starsailor .

Approximately 280 people thoroughly enjoyed an excellent, short electro – acoustic set of approximately 40 mins although it was originally scheduled for 30, and quite how the band selected the songs from such a huge back catalogue was beyond me, we could have easily been there all night!!  From the moment the band appeared the atmosphere was electric as they were definitely amongst friends tonight and there was little doubt that James Walsh ( Lead guitar and vocals) , James Stelfox ( Bass ) , Barry Westhead ( Keyboards) and Ben Byrne ( on Cahon ) were ‘up for it’ as well. 

“Good to be here Warrington!”  from a smiling James was greeted with the usual whoops of delight from the excited groups of ladies before the band launched into ‘Poor Misguided Fool ‘.

Now, I have seen Starsailor twice before, I recall the last time was probably about 3 years ago ,and yet again this highly experienced, professional band were absolutely faultless, had they really been away? 

 The sound was excellent and just right for this venue as it’s not really a music setting, vocals were pitch perfect, keyboards from Barry were cutting through nicely and even Ben’s Cahon and tambourine combo was clearly heard, so kudos to the engineers . After delivering hits ‘Alchoholic’ and ‘Tell me it’s not over’  James asked people to “close in, fill the gap at the front” , nobody required a second prompt and with plenty of good humour people shuffled forward, quickly claiming a spot to be within touching distance and then we were all in real party mode!  Hit records ‘Fever’, ‘Lullaby’ and ‘Four to the Floor’ followed prior to a short pause to remove the jackets and cool off. James briefly mentioned the great work of the Warrington Wolves Supporters Trust and how he hoped the band playing tonight would contribute to the Academy tour. It’s always a nice touch when bands talk about their roots and tonight was no exception as James recalled the very early days on the pub circuit in Warrington and how grateful the band were for the support at that time, nearly 23 years ago now! 

After a quick tune up and a few jokes we were on to ‘Silence is Easy’ , a massive hit for the band in 2003 which was delivered with the usual finesse and the audience were loving this with beaming smiles all around which were reciprocated by the band who were clearly enjoying themselves. This was followed up with ‘Tie up my hands’ before James commanded the audience with a solo rendition of  ‘What a Wonderful World’ . It’s a fact that =some music magazines are full of unique and sometimes unfathomed reviews, but when NME wrote that ‘Starsailor are blessed with a singer whose voice thrummed like an emotional telegraph’ they were spot on, there was not a dry eye in the house for Louis Armstrong’s huge hit.

“Good luck to the Academy on the fundraising and thanks again Warrington, you’ve been amazing!!”  were the final words from James , and sadly the show was drawing to a close with the driving, melodic ‘Good Souls’ being playedfor the exuberant audience who had certainly witnessed true musicianship. However, before the band departed there was one very nice touch remaining from organizer Alex as she presented James (on behalf of the band) with their own framed Starsailor rugby shirt signed by the Warrington Wolves 1st Team.

Post music, a raffle for an additional signed Starsailor commemorative rugby shirt raised a whopping £390 in a humorous ‘bidding war’  and organiser Alex later reported the evening had raised a further £4300 for the Academy tour, overall a magnificent effort and a very successful evening, well done to everyone involved .