Starsailor Biography

The success of Travis and Coldplay on the UK charts in the late 90s instigated the usual record company feeding frenzy, with their new target white bands playing no-frills, melodic rock music. Starsailor, who take their name from a Tim Buckley album and a fair amount of inspiration from the cult US singer-songwriter, emerged in 2000 as the most promising of these new bands. Formed in Lancashire, England by James Walsh (1980, Chorley, Lancashire, England; guitar/vocals), James Stelfox (b. Warrington, Lancashire, England; bass), Ben Byrne (b. England; drums), and Barry Westhead (b. Wigan, Lancashire, England; keyboards), the quartet enjoyed a remarkable rise to major label status. They played their first concert in April 2000 and were snapped up by EMI Records a few months later. Extensive radio-play and a supportive music press helped their Fever EP break into the UK Top 20 the following March. ‘Good Souls’ and ‘Alcoholic’ also made the upper reaches of the UK charts prior to the release of the quartet’s well-received debut album, Love Is Here.

Recording sessions for Starsailor’s second album took place in America and England, and were notable for the involvement of reclusive pop legend Phil Spector. In the event, the band cut their ties with the maverick producer after only two sessions, although Spector’s distinctive sound made it onto Silence Is Easy in the shape of the grandiose title track and ‘White Dove’. Spector was unable to participate on On The Outside as he was pre-occupied with a murder trail. Starsailor were able to produce yet another good album but their ‘killer’ track or album still awaits.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.