Century FM private concert in ManchesterFriday 16th August, 2002. A review and photographs by 'Boo.
Starsailor put on an exclusive, private and secret concert at the Life Café in Manchester on Friday 16th August 2002, in conjunction with local radio station; 105.4 Century FM. Tickets could not be bought for this gig, they were only available to winners of on-air competitions on the station, a few through Starsailor.net, Starsailor's official web site and a handful through NME.com. The tickets were hotly sought after and many unlucky fans would have given their eye teeth for the chance to attend the intimate performance.
This rather special live event featured in the very last few of Starsailor's live performances of 2002 as the band ended their season of gigging at the V2002 festivals of Chelmsford and Stafford on the following two days, as they prepared to return to the studio to finish working on their hotly-anticipated second album.
The Life Café venue in central Manchester was small and intimate with the audience on two levels. The night was hot, as was the anticipation, so much so that several celebrity guests were spotted in the audience, including Guy Garvey of Elbow and Jimi Goodwin of Doves, two other local bands experiencing considerable success.
Starsailor kicked off with Fever and Alcoholic, which James dedicated to everyone present with a spirit in their hand. Then followed Lullaby and then the new track they started playing this summer at live performances and which they've recently recorded for the new album, produced by the legendary Phil Spector; Silence is Easy, which obviously met with approval from those who hadn't heard it before. The album title track, guaranteed to raise goosebumps; Love is Here was followed by another recent addition to their repertoire; Born Again, also meeting with approval and questions as to how to get hold of it.
Powerful renditions of Love is Here album tracks; Way to Fall and Tie Up MY Hands were followed by a surprising and delightful cover of the Ben E. King 1961 classic Stand By Me, I suspect the only thing present as old as me that night! Actually that isn't quite true, one of the biggest rounds of applause that evening was reserved for James's dedication to "my gran" who he said had made a rare appearance at a Starsailor gig. Starsailor left the stage to tumultuous applause, to return a few minutes later for a thumping version of Good Souls. Starsailor were accompanied on several tracks by cellist Sarah and backing singer Eve.
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