Updated: Tuesday, 11th August 2020 @ 9:23am

Review: Starsailor @ O2 Ritz, Manchester

Review: Starsailor @ O2 Ritz, Manchester

| By Nathan Jacobs

Starsailor rocked out in style at the O2 Ritz in Manchester – in a gig that lead vocalist James Walsh described as ‘one of the best’ of the tour so far.

A wide variety of age groups filled the floor before being immediately launched into the triumphant lead track Listen To Your Heart from the band’s new studio album All This Life.

The group, which formed in 2000 after meeting at Wigan and Leigh College, released their fifth album in September 2017 after almost a decade of hiatus.

And fans were treated to a wide array of songs, ranging from new tracks alongside classics firmly established as favourites, such as Alcoholic, Poor Misguided Fool and Tell Me It’s Not Over.

Despite the length of their break, the musicians returned in some style, re-energised and reinvigorated. Frontman Walsh believes it benefitted them.

He told MM: “I think we’ve matured a lot. I’ve been off and worked with different people and done films and TV and that’s helped me grow as a songwriter and help my creativity, so I think this is probably our strongest album since the debut.

BACK: The group have returned after a 10-year break

“Obviously you have all your life leading up into your debut and you have to rush the ones in the middle, but it feels like we had loads of time over this one and it’s turned out really well.”

If the reaction of the crowd was anything to go by then the break certainly did them no harm.

The warm-up acts got the gig-goers in the mood – particularly that of the female triumvirate Paradisia – but Starsailor themselves ensured that it would be a popular return to stage.

All This Life, Take A Little Time, and Caught In The Middle were other tracks from the new record tested to the willing crowd. However, it was Best Of Me that really stirred people.

Starsailor finished the evening with a rousing cover of Kids by MGMT, but the demographically variant crowd saved their biggest roars for the pièce de résistance, Silence Is Easy.

It was a fine gig, displaying a wonderful array of old and new in tandem and the togetherness emitting from the stage was reflected in the warm way they were received.

ROCK: The musicians delivered the goods to a lively crowd

Starsailor completed the UK stretch of the tour, finishing at London on Thursday, but are set to visit Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Germany in the coming weeks. It’s yet another reason for the rockers to be excited.

Walsh told us: “Amsterdam is always a good crowd with a good mixture between the locals and people from over here who go over to make a weekend of it and German crowds are really respectful and appreciative.

“The French crowd are passionate music lovers and we love going to Belgium too as well – they’ve really taken to us, and there’s good beer and waffles!”

This sheer excitement clearly reflected the performance and with the new fresh album, bringing together almost 10 years of alternate experiences for each member. It would seem there’s only one way on the trajectory Starsailor are headed.