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Wigan, United Kingdom (2001 – present)

Starsailor is a British post-britpop band that was heralded on the release of their debut single, “Fever,” in February 2001 as “Britain’s best new band”. Since then Starsailor has continued the rich lineage of its predecessors such as Travis, Stereophonics and many others. Formed in Wigan, UK by music students James Walsh (vocals/guitar), James Stelfox (bass), and Ben Byrne (drums), the band went through several guitar-heavy embryonic lineups before the arrival of Barry Westhead (keyboards) cemented their sound.

Influenced by Tim Buckley (whose 1970 album gave the band their name), Van Morrison, and Neil Young, they played their first London show at the Heavenly Social in April 2000. At the same time, a demo tape containing the tracks “Fever,” “Coming Down,” and “Love Is Here” began circulating rapidly around the music industry. By the summer there was a queue of record companies to sign the nascent band. EMI won the race for their signature. After spending January 2001 on an NME-sponsored tour with JJ72 and Amen, Starsailor released their debut single, “Fever,” to unanimous critical praise.

A sold-out headline U.K. tour at the end of March preceded the release of their second single, “Good Souls,” in April. Once again it was ecstatically received and reached the Top 20. As the single was released, the band went to Wales to record their debut album. They re-emerged in June to begin a summer of festival appearances sandwiched between an American tour supporting Doves and a couple of headline dates of their own.


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