Friday, 5 June 2015

U.S. Tour Blog

Hi Everyone!  I am writing to you as we pass through Oregon after an eventful few days in California on the road with Embrace. The original plan was to stop in Portland for a day off but our bus ran into problems so we had to wait for a mechanic all night in San Francisco.

It's great fun being on the road but its not always 'plain sailing' Boom Boom!(pun intended). I'll never forget the site of a slightly inebriated Stel shining his phone under the bus to help Kurt the driver identify the problem his white shirt ending up covered in oil!

We've had a great time with Embrace from the word go and it was good to get to know them on the night we arrived at the little known dive bar 'Kitts' in Huntington Beach. After a night of fun and relaxation it was off on the road on our lovely tour bus. Tour buses in the US are in the main a class above the ones at home. The lounge opens out when we are stopped and all the bunks have cable tv in them! Theres also the added bonus of our entertaining driver Kurt. Barry has been chatting to him up the front on the long drives so I think he's Kurt's favourite now.

The first show was at House Of Blues Anaheim which is situated in Disneyland. Getting into Disneyland is the same as getting into a new country as we all had to queue up and show the border patrol our passports! Thankfully the show went smoothly which was good as we had Yahoo streaming it live across the world.(hope you enjoyed watching).

We were parked up beside the Sheraton hotel so we spent a few hours by the pool before travelling onto LA for the show at The Roxy a legendary rock venue on Sunset Strip. It was a frustrating show for Stel as he battled problems with his bass but ultimately we got through it and the LA crowd was great. We stuck around to watch Embrace who impressed, pulling out the crowd pleasers (Come Back To What You Know, All You Good Good People) & some tracks from their brilliant new album (Richard McNamara's emotive vocals on 'Refugees' a particular highlight).

Danny was a bundle of energy getting the crowd going at the intimate Roxy as if we were in an arena. It was great to catch up with some old friends at the Rainbow next door after the show. There was no sign of Lemmy but we did spot Ron Jeremy (I think Ben saw him in some films when he was a teenager I wonder if they won any oscars?) It was great to see James Dale from Goldheart Assembly and Romeo from The Magic Numbers again.

No time to stop in LA so it was back on the fun bus to San Francisco. Its been ten years since we last played Slims and we're really impressed that some fans came back for more all these years later! We are so grateful to our long term fans and it seemed from the mix of ages that our music has been passed onto younger siblings and children of fans too. Both bands agreed San Francisco was the best show of the tour as the crowd were really up for it. Which brings you right up to date. Hopefully next time we catch up I'll have some Canadian tales to tell you.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

2015 so far...

Its been far too long since I wrote anything for the website so here I am & theres been plenty going on in 2015 to tell you about.

I am writing from my dressing room at Ipswich Regent Theatre where we are near the halfway point of the Mike & The Mechanics UK Tour. The shows so far have been great. It's been good to tick off such stunning venues as Sheffield City Hall & Gateshead Sage Theatre from the list of places I've played. The connection with Mike And The Mechanics started when Harry Rutherford agreed to produce my album & we subsequently roped in his talented father Mike to play some guitar. Needless to say when the opportunity arose to support them around the UK it was an easy decision! Much of the Mike & The Mechanics audience haven't heard of myself or Starsailor so its been great to showcase the songs from 'Turning Point' to a whole new audience. Because the venues are seated and the audience a bit older I am usually playing to an almost full and captive audience which is good. I am most excited to return to The Royal Albert Hall where I played only last year with Starsailor. To play such a legendary venue twice in such a short space of time is a great honour.

Another recent highlight was playing the Hard Rock/Peroni village after the Wales v Italy 6 nations game in Rome. I'm more of a football man usually but it was impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of that thrilling final day where England, Wales and Ireland had everything to play for. There was a good mix of Italians and Welsh people in the crowd who were all on great form and it made for a very enjoyable show.

A few weeks ago up in Manchester I once again donned my judges hat to choose the winner of the Hard Rock Rising competition(Manchester heat). I have done it before down in London so it was good to see that the North West is still producing great music too. All the bands on the night were excellent but House Of Thieves(@HOTbandofficial) from Derby were worthy winners in the end.

Next up for me is the inaugural Isle Of Wight Dragon Boat Race in aid of WellChild which should be a fun day out for a great cause. Finally. Things have been busy in Starsailor world too(Zermatt Unplugged was amazing) so I promise to write something soon to go on the Starsailor website.

See You Soon - James W

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

James Walsh to Headline the Big One 5

Wigan Warriors are delighted to confirm that Chorley-born musician and Starsailor frontman James Walsh will Headline pre-match entertainment at the Big One 5.

Walsh shot to fame in the early 2000’s when Starsailor’s debut album ‘Love is Here’ went platinum selling over 500,000 copies in the UK.

The band went on to create a further three albums and Walsh has been working on a solo career since 2009 releasing his latest album, ‘Turning Point’ earlier this year. The group recently reformed and played at the Isle of Wight festival and will support Manchester band James on their UK tour in November.

Walsh, who was at college in Wigan when Starsailor formed said: “It’s very exciting to be heading back to Wigan to play in front of what will be a huge crowd at the Big One.

“I have a lot of great memories about my time in Wigan. It’s a great place and one that will always be close to my heart. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about this game and I’m looking forward to capping off a spectacular entertainment line up before the Warriors and Rhinos go to battle.

“I’ve seen that Wigan have been going well this year and Leeds are right up there too so I think it will make for a great game as well as a great night.”

James Walsh’s performance is supported by The Whisky Sessions, a presenting partner of the Big One 5. The Whisky Sessions is a new two day music and whisky festival taking place in November at Manchester's Victoria Warehouse, featuring acts I Am Kloot, Gomez, Turin Brakes and many more. More information on an exclusive Whisky Sessions post match event for the Big One 5 will be unveiled next week.

Simon Collinson, Marketing Director at Wigan Warriors added: “To have someone of James’ stature perform live at the DW ahead of the Big One will only serve to help make this event bigger than ever before.

“Alongside James, we have Carolynne Poole, the New York Brass Band and the Joining Jack Legends game plus lots of other stuff going on. I think it’s possibly the best night of entertainment we’ve ever put on at the DW Stadium and I’m sure we will see some fireworks on the pitch too!”

James completes the amazing line up of entertainment on the night whilst the Joining Jack Legends are set to announce more massive names to their already blockbuster squad over the next week.

The Big One 5 has already posted record early pre-sales and tickets remain on sale from the DW Stadium ticket office, the ticket hotline 0871 6633 552 and online at

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Isle Of Wight Festival - Back with Starsailor

Hi Folks, - Hope your all having a great Summer. We've been blessed with some sunshine for a change here in the UK not least for the Isle Of Wight Festival weekend that took place recently. It's always a special festival for me and this year took on special meaning as it was the first major gig with Starsailor for many years.

  It was great to be back playing with the boys. The break has done us all good. Its good to have new experiences outside the band & come back with a new perspective and appreciation of what we have. I'm so glad so many of you turned out to see us on the main stage. If anything the crowd and the atmosphere felt even better than the last time we played together at the festival.
 Having Mark Collins alongside us on lead guitar was a welcome addition too.  Friday was all about Starsailor but I enjoyed playing solo across the weekend too.

There was an amazing  crowd at the Whiskey Sessions who weren't distracted by the red arrows flying above. I'm really proud of my solo album 'Turning Point' & it was cool to see people singing some of the words back during the set. A visit to the Isle of Wight Festival wouldn't be complete without a trip to Tim Peaks for a coffee and a couple of songs.

Tim Burgess's cafe is a fairly new addition to the festival circuit but is fast becoming a mainstay. My highlight of the festival was definitely Travis. The closed the big top in spectacular fashion with everyone jumping up and down to 'Why Does It Always Rain On Me?'. Outside of the main stages The Carnabys were the buzz band of the weekend.

They've come a long way since they won the Hard Rock Battle Of The Bands & I hope they do well. So I'm off for a family holiday before it all kicks off again with some big solo performances and festivals with Starsailor throughout July/August. See you on the road!

James W  x

P.S If you enjoyed the Isle of Wight and fancy reliving it you can come and see many of the acts who graced the festival this year(including me!) at Koko in aid of Variety UK on 1st Sept.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Update from Nottingham

Hi Folks, - I am writing to you whilst stood in my little dressing room at the legendary Bodega in Nottingham(formerly the heavenly social) that has played host to a number of artists who've gone onto great things including arctic monkeys,the strokes,the white stripes and a band called Starsailor(nope me neither :-)).

It's great to be back here after all these years a little older and not much wiser. The tour so far has been fantastic. Hare and Hounds in Birmingham a great venue to kick off with. Nice intimate room above a friendly little pub. Next up was another famous venue King Tuts in Glasgow. I had plenty of my family & extended family down for this one so there was a few drinks back at the citizen m Glasgow afterwards!

The response to the new album 'Turning Point' has been great & I'm glad so many people are picking it up at the gigs too. Reassures me that the songs are coming across well live. Whilst I was in Glasgow I paid a visit to Billy Sloan to record a session for his how on Clyde 1. Will keep you posted about when it goes out.

He's always been a big supporter of my music and even hosted a concert I did in Aberfeldy many moons ago. It was good to catch up. Then it was a short hop over to Leeds to play The Brudenell. A cool little venue run by the tireless Nathan who makes sure there always a welcoming atmosphere in the place.

I have been trying to get back here after an enjoyable night with Ian Broudie a few years ago so it was good to finally make it. After Leeds I went over to Liverpool to record a session for Dave Monks show on Radio Merseyside. I've always go to well with Dave(despite him being a blue!) and he's a great supporter of Liverpool and northwest music.

Listen out for that one soon. The following day it was onwards to manchester. During soundcheck I welcomed some pledgers into the venue and they got a mini personal concert before I came down for a chat and some pictures. It was great to meet some of the people who've helped get the album made.

The gig at the deaf institute in Manchester was as rowdy and brilliant as I expected thanks to a fantastic northern crowd. Unusually for Manchester there was no boozing afterwards so I was able to jump on the train and head to nottingham for a session with imagesound.

A brilliant website who have hosted sessions with Mark Morriss and Jack Savoretti in recent times and always make sure the videos are well shot in good locations. And so here I am looking forward to another great show in Nottingham!

See You Soon!

James W

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Paris > Stockholm > Copenhagen > Luxembourg

Hi All, - Well that was fun! Just arrived home this weekend after a fantastic few  weeks out in the road with One Republic. It was great to play the beautiful Trianon in Paris for three consecutive nights and explore the sites and sounds of Monmartre where I was staying.

It's been great playing these modern arenas but playing a venue steeped in history in front of a passionate French crowd was one of the highlights of the tour for me. Then it was onwards to Stockholm. This was a memorable experience too for many reasons. Firstly I was staying on a boat!(the malardrottningen floating hotel) once owned  by American heiress Barbara Hutton.

We welcomed new father One Republics Eddie Fisher back to the tour and sampled the Stockholm night life starting off at Benny Andersson from Abba's Hotel Rival. Gig day in Stockholm was a two gig day. Starting off with a showcase for Live Nation in their offices. 'Industry' events aren't always the best but this one was really enjoyable and the invited guests were really responsive.

The gig that night at Arenan was great too. Sweden has produced so much amazing music over the years and I'm sure this beautiful city has inspired much if it. Next up was another Scandinavian show and onwards to Copenhagen. Hidden behind a Radisson Hotel is the historic Falconer Theater that has played host to all the greats from Van Morrison to Neil Young.

I sound like a broken record but this was a great venue and crowd too. I've really appreciated the nice messages from One Republic fans on twitter and it was no exception after this show as kind words came in from the amazing Danish fans. Then it was a short plane journey to Luxembourg for the final show of the tour.

The day of the show was an early start with interviews and songs scheduled at RTL Luxembourg and a quick trip to Saarbrucken to play for SR3. It was such a great audience in Luxembourg. It's location meant there were plenty of people who travelled from all over  to come so it seemed a fittingly European end to the tour.

I'd like to say thank you very much to One Republic and their crew for looking after me so well during the tour. Now I'm looking forward to starting my own tour & releasing 'Turning Point' with some fantastic memories to look back on.

 See You Soon!

 James W

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Duet with Carice Van Houten

As those of you listening to 3fm on Tuesday morning will know I recently recorded a duet with the amazing Carice Van Houten. If you want to grab a copy it will be available on the CD edition of 'Turning Point' and exclusively available to download on itunes in the Netherlands.