There are many mysteries in life, and one remains why Starsailor are still playing small venues like the Wulfrun. This especially true when bands such as Keane play much larger venues. Oh well, the Wulfrun it is, and oddly for a crowd comprising mainly middle-aged couples the security seems especially tight. All punters are searched and for the first time in my life I was asked to remove my car keys from my pocket which was then closely inspected by said security man.

Once past this over-zealous employee, I was just in time for the first of three support acts.

First up is Ryan Lauder, a likeable lad from Dumphries, playing an “IKEA special” acoustic guitar accompanied by a chap playing a slide guitar. Four songs and he’s done, pleasant and would like to hear more but sadly he’s not bought copies of his ep with him to sell!

Next up is Pete Greenwood, announcing himself as “Russell Brand” due to the Dylan hairstyle. He actually sounds more like Badly Drawn Boy, but again pleasant tunes.


Within five minutes The Parlotones take to the stage, hailing from South Africa. As the ‘main’ support they are an actual band as opposed to a solo acoustic slot of the previous two supports. The Parlotones create a good sound, heavy on drums, with a bass player doubling up on keyboards. CD’s are for sale at £5 so this is certainly worth further investigation and hopefully their first ever visit to Wolverhampton won’t be their last.


A quick stage-clearance and at 21.30 Starsailor take to the stage, to an intro tape that suddenly stops, causing a expletive from the sound guy whom I’m standing by, however it soon re-starts and then the band launch into ‘Tie up my hands’. The stage set is simple, a large backdrop of the current album’s sleeve, but the lighting could do with a re-think. For the whole of the first song the band are lit by orange lights. Perhaps this is some homage to the colour of the Wolves team-kit, but throughout the show the lights are nothing spectacular and there appears to be a bank of ceiling lights that aren’t used at all.


The setlist features a good selection of the new album ‘All the plans’ but the older tracks really create a reaction from the crowd, especially ‘Poor Misguided Fool’ and an almost show-stopping ‘Alcoholic’. However the best is kept for the encore, which starts with James Walsh doing an acoustic version of ‘Lullaby’ and then a cover of ‘You’ve got to hide your love away’, before being joined by the rest of the band to do ‘Four to the floor’ and ‘Good Souls’ featuring a few lines from ‘Tomorrow never knows’.

Pete Greenwood who did a fine job earlier as support now adds a hand on guitar as he has done for the past twelve months or so.


As James Walsh said “we usually play Birmingham or Leicester but the reception you’ve given us I think we ought to play Wolverhampton more” and I’d agree with that.

Hopefully the next time will see a bigger venue so that more folk can appreciate and hear what are fine tunes, good melodies and a band who really should be playing bigger venues.



Tie up my hands
In the crossfire
All the plans
Hurts too much
Poor misguided fool
Boy in waiting
Love is here
Stars and stripes
Neon sky
Keep us together
Silence is easy
Tell me it’s not over

You’ve got to hide your love away
Four to the floor
Good souls

Review – Glenn Raybone
Photos – Steve Gerrard

2 Responses to “Starsailor + The Parlotones @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall UK – 01/04/2009”

  1. ryan Says:

    Can anyone tell me the name of the first song The Parlotones sang at this gig please?

  2. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Mike + The Mechanics + James Walsh at The Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK – 27th April 2015 Says:

    […] Tonight’s audience is once again, a tad older and refined and after battling the traffic chaos we arrive as support act, Starsailor frontsman James Walsh doing a solo acoustic set, is already on stage. As I walk in the venue is streaming Starsailor hit ‘Alcoholic’ and I catch it ‘live’ as he completes the song. Just him and his falsetto voice and guitar deliver well in the acoustically perfect Symphony Hall. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that most the audience would have heard of his Brit-Pop band, and while  I’m singing away – not too many others are. Something he acknowledges himself before taking us into a song many people will know – a cover version of  Rod Stewart’s ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About It’ which haunts through the hall in it’s melancholy approach. He’s a talented dude – just standing there singing, with voice that draws you in – as his final song of the night morphs into Starsailor’s biggest hit that made #9 in the UK charts – ‘Silence is Easy’. Again I’m one of the few people singing along. He has a new solo album out  ‘Training Point’ and by the sound of tonight’s performance it will be well worth checking out. Check out Gig Junkies review of Starsailor was back in 2009. […]

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