Back to his roots

James Walsh
James Walsh

STARSAILOR frontman James Walsh is set to return to the North West next month, as part of an eight-date tour for his debut solo album.

The former Wigan and Leigh College student will perform at Kazimier, in Liverpool, on December 2 and at Ruby Lounge, in Manchester, on December 3 as he kick-stars a short tour ending just over a fortnight later with dates in Dublin and Belfast.

He said: “The songs have been pouring out of me. I feel much more like a singer-songwriter now, living it and breathing it.”

James was the singer and main songwriter in Starsailor, who have sold more than three million albums since the release of their 2001 debut album Love is Here.

But in recent years, they have been doing solo projects.

He added: “The great thing about the band is it’s a comfort thing.

“You know what the set is, you know what’s going to happen, and you know they’re there to back you up.

“With the acoustic stuff, there’s this whole new sense of freedom.

“You get stuck in that album-tour-promotion cycle.

“Now I can have beats on laptops, experiment with synthesizers or strings sections, write or work with all sorts of people in all sorts of different countries or environments.

“I feel much more like a singer-songwriter now, living it and breathing it.”

Just over a year after taking the difficult decision to put the band on extended hold, James has seen immense success.

He has toured with Sheryl Crow, written with Suzanne Vega after inviting her to sing with him in New York and recording the Live At The Top Of The World EP with Norway’s Tromsø Chamber Orchestra in the closest major settlement to the North Pole.

Meanwhile, another fellow Wiganer has been honoured in the NME’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

The Verve’s Urban Hymns was voted as number 128.

Richard Ashcroft attended Winstanley College and Up Holland High School.