As part of Starsailor, frontman James Walsh flew high, but with his band currently in hiatus, the singer is bringing the tour for his first ‘proper’ solo album to The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, on Wednesday.
The album, Turning Point, marks James’s first official solo album, after a foray into soundtrack work with 2012’s Lullaby.
And he’s enjoying playing solo: ‘It’s been good. I love playing with the band and that has its advantages and we’ve made a great sound together but even though I’m the main songwriter there’s definitely an element of democracy.
‘I take everyone’s opinions and tastes on board to create the sound. So doing solo stuff it was nice to be able to indulge my own passions and influences and put them into the record.’
But Starsailor fans don’t need to worry about anything too radical. He explains:‘I think it’s different but not too different. Obviously I haven’t changed my voice or my singing style and that’s still a strong part of it. It’s more influenced by my own personal passions like Jackson Browne, Van Morrison and John Lennon. Also, the keyboards are a big part of Starsailor but Turning Point is more acoustic-led.’
However, it’s not the end of his old band.
‘We have a few shows planned over the summer, including the Isle of Wight Festival and a gig supporting James in Manchester. I don’t know about another album, there’s no immediate plans to record.’
And he will be playing a few of his hits live, too.
‘I think people expect them. It’s only fair,’ he adds. ‘It’s part of my history and you want to give people a taste of your past as well as your present.’
James will also be making an in-store appearance at HMV in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, at 5pm the same day.
Tickets are £12.50 from wedgewood-rooms.co.uk or call (023) 9286 3911.