Good Souls; the Starsailor archive for fans.

The Silence Is Easy UK tour 2003; Leeds

Leeds University Union on Tuesday 23rd September 2003, the fourth date on their UK tour to promote Silence is Easy. Report and photos by Boo. See also Manchester Apollo.

Starsailor's hotly anticipated second studio album Silence is Easy was released on 15th September 2003 and after a few days of feverish media activity to launch the album to the waiting world, the band hit the road to show their fans what they could do with the new material in a live environment, with an 11 date UK tour, before heading into mainland Europe.

The Leeds University Union Refectory venue was the fourth of their whirlwind trip from Glasgow to Southampton, before heading to Europe at the end of October.

  [The tightly packed Leeds University Union Refectory. ]  Please see the more detailed report with set list, for the Manchester Apollo theatre two days previously. The show at Leeds followed a very similar pattern, despite a much smaller and intimate venue, which perhaps enhanced the experience still further, with a crowd that were crammed into a long thin refectory hall and well and truly up for it. The set list was the same as the Apollo, until the encore tracks, where Fever replaced Some Of Us.

  [Ben realises with horror that he's taken the stage alone.  Click for a larger view]  The encore section of the set experienced a slight initial hiccup as Ben returned to the stage sans band and there was an uncomfortable moment when he had to consider the possibility of a solo performance. Much to his personal relief, the other four soon joined him.

Stel had been plagued with a terrible head cold for previous dates and this particular day saw it lift and him return to his usual self, which is evident from the smiles you'll see below. It was very evident that all of the band were having great fun, each date on the tour getting better as their sound tightened and the adrenalin flowed.

James made several references to fond memories of gigs attended and performed in the Leeds area and cited their gigs through increasingly better venues there as a good reason why they should perhaps headline the Leeds Festival in 2004 as a natural progression in their careers. He also told of how the band had been in Leeds when they first heard that Love is Here had gone gold and always thought of it fondly for that reason.

The Manchester Apollo two nights previously had been a storming gig, without question and although the much larger stage and venue lent itself rather better to the new and stunning visuals Starsailor had taken on the road, one of the most important ingredients in declaring a live performance to be a success, is the mood of the crowd and at Leeds, it couldn't have been bettered, more than compensating for the cramped and very hot conditions and downsized stage visuals.

I think it would be a very fair assessment to report that the post-gig analysis declared Leeds a rip-roaring and most enjoyable success and one the band and crew would be very happy to repeat. What was that 2004 date for the Leeds Festival . . .

Please click the photographs to see a larger view and use your browser's back button to return to this page. There are also photographs and a detailed report from the Manchester Apollo gig and photos of one of Starsailor's support bands on the tour; Hal.

Starsailor at Leeds UU Refectory.  This man is just so damn cool.  James at the start of the Leeds UU show.  James 'Stel' Stelfox.  James asks for lights to photograph the audience.  James Walsh concentrating on his vocals.  Barry and Ben work hard at the start of the show.  On the smaller stage at Leeds, the show still looks impressive.  The boys at the front obviously have fun at Leeds.  James is absorbed in the passion of Alcoholic.  Stel follows the lead of Mark Collins.  James pauses momentarily.  No, it's not foggy, that's stage smoke.  These boys work hard for our pleasure.  There's just nowhere to hide tonight Barry.   He wasn't this still for long.  Are they having fun, or what!?  Mark Collins and James work as a team.  The five of them work so well together.  Stel and James.  Mark and Stel get tighter everytime they play.  Starsailor guest guitarist, Mark Collins.  Ben spends most of the gig a blur of activity.  A picture of concentration.  Which one of you ladies in the front row ordered the stripogram?!   James Walsh.  Ben, amongst some of the stage visuals squeezed onto the Leeds stage.  Smiley, happy faces.  Ben gets a work out every gig.  It looks like all of us had fun.  Mr. Benjamin Byrne.  Barry and Ben, what a team.  The show crescendo of Good Souls.

© Boo. 2003. All rights reserved. E-mail:boo@zen.co.uk

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