The last time Wigan came to London and took it by storm was May 11th 2013 to become FA Cup finalists, then subsequent winners.

Four guys from Wigan and surrounding districts completed similar domination when playing at the Royal Albert Hall, supporting James on their 'La Petite Mort' tour.

It only took the opening number 'Tie Up My Hands' to be reminded just how good Starsailor really are.

They came together in 2000 when bassist James Stelfox and drummer Ben Byrne met whilst attending Leigh Campus of Wigan and Leigh College. When James Walsh joined on lead vocals and Barry Westhead on keyboards, they released 'Love is Here' which met with critical acclaim.

Three more studio albums, ten top 40 singles, supporting dates with the Rolling Stones, the Killers and playing alongside Roger Waters confirmed Starsailor's musical status. The band, however, split, deciding to complete solo projects in 2009.

Maybe some readers recall when they performed at the Tavern pub in Wigan in 2009?

Earlier this year they announced a band reunion. The Royal Albert Hall was over half full, with many folks not going to miss the opportunity to see Starsailor perform after so many years away from a live audience.

'Poor Misguided Fool' was a heavier rocking track, with a driving keyboard solo by Barry Westhead.

The acoustics allowed the balladeering of James Walsh on 'Alcoholic' to ping from tier to tier, with the audience singing along, each line lyric perfect.

Not for the first time since the inception of Starsailor did they have an extra member with them. Rolling back the years, Mark Collins of the Charlatans became part of the band.

'Tell Me It’s Not Over' epitomised just what these guys can offer. Lyrically it is painful noting “She’s sleeping with another”, whilst the guitar riff between Walsh and Collins demonstrated the synergy and quality of musicianship on show here.

There wasn't a great deal of chat from Walsh to the audience. A couple of “How you doin’ London?” A smattering of “Nice to be here” and “Cheers”, but that’s about it.

The final songs, 'Silence is Easy' and 'Four to the Floor', had audience participation clapping and foot stomping which reverberated through the Royal Albert Hall quite nicely. 'Good Souls' cracked on at a pace, including guitar and organ solos, some eight minutes in total.

A wave, a thanks and Starsailor left the stage. Although the audience made it clear they wanted the band back for an encore, a bit more, a lot more, approximately 45 minutes and Starsailor were done for the evening.

It was as if they had never been away. All they need is a new album and bookings at the 2015 headline festivals, and Starsailor could easily be back in the big time.

Photos by Alexia Arrizabalaga

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