Starsailor are an English post-Britpop band, formed in 2000. Since their formation the band has included guitarist and vocalist James Walsh, drummer Ben Byrne, bassist James Stelfox and keyboardist Barry Westhead. They are best known for their 2003 single "Silence Is Easy" which reached number 9 in the UK.
The band has released five studio albums, and have scored ten Top 40 hit singles in the UK. Their first album Love Is Here was released in 2001, followed by Silence Is Easy and On the Outside . After the release of its fourth album All the Plans , the band entered into extended hiatus until 2014, during which its members were involved in individual projects.
Starsailor announced their reunion on 23 May 2014 and began performing worldwide. Good Souls: The Greatest Hits was released in September 2015, and featured two new songs. A fifth studio album All This Life was released in 2017.
Despite claiming to be a Wigan band, only one member of Starsailor is actually from the town. Bassist James Stelfox and drummer Ben Byrne had been playing together in Warrington, Cheshire for a number of years. The band members met whilst studying a Music course at Wigan and Leigh College. When their regular singer fell ill, they recruited young Chorley singer and songwriter James Walsh from a school choir. He was influenced by Jeff Buckley and his 1994 album Grace in his singing style. Comparing it to Oasis' Morning Glory? album, which Walsh says sums up a unique moment, Grace captures every moment.
The band, then named Waterface, had tried a number of guitarists before they asked long-time friend Barry Westhead to join the band in 2000 on keyboards. He had been teaching judo and playing organ for a church near his home town. His arrival has been heralded as the most significant event in the band's formation. Walsh also took up the guitar, following frustration over not finding a musician right for the group. The band started to build up a reputation, and their name changed to Starsailor after the 1970 album Starsailor by Tim Buckley.
A journalist from NME saw a gig in 2000 and gave the band a glowing review. "One live encounter was enough to convince many sceptics that here was a band who were genuinely special, blessed with a singer whose voice thrummed like an emotional telegraph wire, that swerved the pitfalls of indie melancholia and were clearly in love with rock 'n' roll and all its possibilities." Their performance at the Glastonbury Festival added to the band's reputation and led to a bidding war amongst UK record companies.
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