Review | Starsailor at Portsmouth Guildhall: 'The crowd is on side and singing along'

Starsailor released their platinum-selling debut album Love Is Here in 2001 and are marking the 20th anniversary with a tour that dropped into Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday.

By Martin Cox
Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 8:27 am
Starsailor at Victorious Festival, 2019. Picture: Vernon Nash (250819-047)
Starsailor at Victorious Festival, 2019. Picture: Vernon Nash (250819-047)

Playing every track from an album is popular of late, but it’s a risky format.

As frontman James Walsh points out at song three, they wouldn’t normally play big hits such as Alcoholic so early in the set and with Poor Misguided Fool already behind them they might be feeling a little nervous that they’ve peaked early at only three tracks in.

However there are few fillers in this list and with Lullaby up next and title track Love Is Here dedicated to doctors and nurses during the pandemic, the crowd is on side and singing along.

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Starsailor mark 20 years of debut Love is Here with tour which comes to Portsmou...

The relatively short set gives an opportunity for a five-song encore, with If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next by Manic Street Preachers and All or Nothing from the Small Faces adding to the Starsailor repertoire.

Closing with Four To The Floor has the crowd bouncing and ensures a second call back.

Walsh jokes that they’ll close with a B-side from 2014, but instead has the audience in raptures with the title track of the second album, Silence is Easy.

Starsailor deserve to be selling out this and bigger venues, but this is not a pretentious band of egomaniacs which tours once a decade.

Walsh gigs often, both solo and with the band, and with this back catalogue and his stunning vocals, always delivers. Despite the limiting format, this was no exception.

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