Starsailor It’s a staggering 15 years since Starsailor’s second album ‘Silence Is Easy’ was released and to celebrate the band are out playing three anniversary gigs. Manchester is sandwiched between Glasgow and London. Those who own the album (and if you don’t then you really should) will know the part strings play throughout and so it is that the band are enhanced by a six piece string section for the three gigs.


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Starsailor Some time ago I saw four quiet, nervous lads support The Beautiful South at Sheffield Arena. Stage presence was at a minimum. What stood out was the craft in the song writing and the frankly astounding, almost angelic, voice of singer James Walsh. 16 years and five studio albums later Starsailor roll back into the Steel City 6 dates into the UK leg of the ‘All This Life’ tour. The nervousness is now replaced with a confident maturity of a band who know just how good they are and don’t feel the need to shout about it. They remind me of the kid who always gets picked last at football then turns out to be the next Lionel Messi.


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Starsailor Some 16 years after their critically acclaimed debut release, ‘Love Is Here’, Starsailor return with their 5th studio album ‘All This Life’. It’s also 8 years since previous studio release ‘All The Plans’. Prolific is not a word you’d associate with Starsailor.


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Phil Collins On the day which forecast torrential rain the sun beamed brightly over Hyde Park for day one of the annual British Summertime Series, as couples and families laid out their blankets for the stellar line up that was boasted over the three stages.


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Mike + The Mechanics Tonight the traffic into Birmingham is dire - clearly something has occurred to snare up the road system terribly as we make our way into town. But it’s okay, we know the short cuts. We’re making our way to the delectable Symphony Hall to see a ‘side-project’ that has done very well, thank you every much. This chap may have been in another band that did a tad better - but tonight we’re here to see Mike Rutherford and his band of brothers that make up Mike + the Mechanics.


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Starsailor 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.


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