#EventSpeaks: Starsailor @ Concorde 2, Brighton – 25/10/17


   

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On Wednesday 25th October 2017, the massive post-Britpop band, Starsailor arrived in Brighton on their All This Life Tour in support of their latest album, All This Life (check out our interview with James Walsh here). The band put on one heck of a high-energy show, packed to the brim with many of their hits as well as tracks from their new album. They were supported by Paradisia and Tom Speight.


Tom Speight

This singer-songwriter was an interesting performer with a well-crafted sound – apparently he had recently been writing with James Walsh (of Starsailor). His lyrics were meaningful and the addition of a backing singer (complete with shakers!) added a nice diversity to his live performance (instead of the often uninspiring, “guy with a guitar” sound). He and his backing singer had clearly spent a lot of time rehearsing as their vocals were very tight. The only thing which struck me as slightly odd is that considering he is a solo performer, he gave quite a bit of time to his backing singer to take lead vocals; more than you might expect, however there was a certain depth to his performance.

Highlight: Tom entering the crowd with just his backing singer and his guitar to perform a song, unplugged, in the centre of the audience was definitely a highlight and quite a unique performance idea.


Paradisia

From the moment you see a harp on stage, your interest is instantly peaked – not many bands use one, so it was something quite unique from the offset. This trio of ladies didn’t disappoint either; they are remarkably talented musicians, songwriters and performers. Their songwriting style was incredibly individual and their vocal abilities were simply stunning – to harmonise the way they did, takes a lot of practise. The only criticism I had was the lead singer’s sincerity when talking to the crowd and expressing their excitement to be there, or lack thereof – I heard others make comments about this too. However, that aside, I was utterly enthralled throughout their set and have spent time listening to them since – they are undoubtedly fantastic!

Highlight: The perfection with which the trio performed their vocal harmonies was a stunning thing to behold and I highly recommend anyone to check them out. Regardless of your taste in music, anyone can and will appreciate this band’s pure talent and the hard work they clearly put into perfecting their live performances.


Starsailor

The crowd erupted with massive applause as the band’s intro music blared through the PA system…and from there the volume only got louder – both the audience’s screams as the band appeared on stage and the band themselves as they began to play! Undoubtedly, this was one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to (in fact two days later and I still have a very faint ringing in my ears).

Starsailor are clearly very professional at what they do – they’ve been in the business for over 15 years and toured the world – their set was flawless. They have clearly mastered their live performances, getting the right balance between not talking too much between songs (as sometimes happens with some bands) and playing a good ratio of new and old material. The audience were delighted to hear a string of the band’s biggest hits, including; ‘Alcoholic’‘Poor Misguided Fool’‘Four To The Floor’ and ‘Good Souls’ as well as some tracks from their new album, such as; ‘Listen To Your Heart’‘All This Life’ and ‘FIA (F**k It All)’.

Some of the standout performances for me, were: ‘Listen To Your Heart’ – as the band took to the stage, they made a massive impact on their audience straight away; ‘Take A Little Time’ which although I wasn’t overly familiar with it, was both catchy and a brilliant song to dance to – I’ve actually had it on repeat since the show; ‘Four To The Floor’ which had everyone pumped up and singing along and ‘Silence Is Easy’ as this track is just a real belter – the band played a slightly heavier version than the one they released but my god it was good!

The crowd loved every second of this show and I did too – the passion in the band’s performance and the vigour of the audience made it a truly special evening – one to remember. I highly recommend watching this band live; they will not disappoint…just make sure you bring earplugs – they’re LOUD!

Highlights:

  • The genuine, appreciative grin that occasionally spread across James Walsh‘s face every now and then – clearly showed he was grateful to be there and was enjoying the crowd.
  • James Stelfox‘s facial interactions with the audience were hilarious.
  • The high-energy impact and faultless nature of their set was remarkable – it was a truly special show to behold.
  • James Walsh asking the names of three fans at the front of the crowd who’d sung along to every word and danced without a care in the world, and then dedicating a song to them was a lovely touch of appreciation.
  • I liked Barry Westhead‘s use of different keyboards for different tracks – there was a great diversity with him switching between piano sounds on one keyboard and an organ.

📷 All of the photos in this post are credited to Damon Peirce 📷
Go and give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter.


Setlist

Listen To Your Heart
Alcoholic
Poor Misguided Fool
All This Life
Take A Little Time
In The Crossfire
Lullaby
Blood
Fever
Sunday Best
Caught In The Middle
Tie Up My Hands
Best Of Me
Tell Me It’s Not Over
Four To The Floor
Silence Is Easy*

Encore
FIA (F**k It All)
Good Souls

This song can be viewed on YouTube, below.


Finally, I want to say a BIG thanks to Rob Kerford from Sonic PR for setting up this review and interview with James Walsh from the band and to Starsailor themselves for putting on an incredible show and taking the time to talk to me.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Daniel Powter


   

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Having just released Delicious (his first new single in around four years) and featuring as the 2nd most successful single of all time, on German TV show, Die Ultimative Chart Show, we got the opportunity to do a phone interview with the legendary Daniel Powter. Daniel took the time to chat about how his new single came about, what he’s been up to since he’s been away and who he’s been working with. It’s all here…


Hey Matt, how are you?

Hi, I’m very well thanks, how are you?
I’m good, thanks for taking the time out of your, I guess it’s your evening there isn’t it?

Yeah.
Well I appreciate you taking an interest.

No, honestly, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.
Oh, it’s my pleasure.

So, how’s it all going?
It seems to be going well. You know, I kinda woke up this morning and people were saying, “Hey, it’s great!” Yeah, it’s going great. I’m really grateful that the song finally came out, you know?

Yeah, I was going to say, your new single, ‘Delicious’, seems to be getting a huge reception online, so how did the single come about?
Oddly enough I was writing with a guy named John Fields, who’s produced the track, and ended up spending a lot of time in Minneapolis and being inspired by a lot of the music there. We just started listening to old music, you know, a lot of old Prince and a lot of old…just old funk, and I was such a big fan that the next thing I know, in the studio, here comes a couple of guys from The New Power Generation, you know Prince‘s band, and Tommy Barbarella’s in the studio, just playing along and it’s like, “Oh my God!” and the song just kind of came out of nowhere.

I mean again, that’s always been my biggest goal, not to think about it too much; just to play something and just to sing and do what you do and not worry what’s trending. “Oh man, the beat’s not quite hip enough.” You know, it’s such nonsense. The further I removed myself from writing music, I realised that the only thing that made me happy was just to do what I do best and do what I know and not worry so much about what works and what trends. I don’t know. So the next thing I know, I’m in the studio with these phenomenal players and the song just kind of, you know, developed on its own.

(Laughs) You know, it’s always those songs, the songs that I struggle with, that I want people to like, you know, recognise me for, but you know what, they never do. (Laughs) It’s always the ones that write themselves in 5 minutes that everybody loves.

I don’t know, there’s something about that. There’s something about the energy of Minneapolis. There’s something about the energy of John Fields and those people that just make you shift to the left and write songs that are fun. Well, it’s not rocket science, it’s just supposed to be for fun.

That’s cool! So it was just quite organic and just kind of grew.
Yeah. I mean I had a melody in my head and just whistling it but then when you get players of that magnitude it’s phenomenal because I think a lot of times when I sit down and I write something, I’ll write something but it’ll be very industrial, it’s very easy and there’s no energy to it because people are playing on the block; they’re playing on the 1, 2 and 4, they’re not playing in between. When you get guys that play in between those notes, then you can start seeing this shift, and I know that doesn’t make much sense, but the music starts to come alive; it just breathes. And that’s why, when I record on my own, it never comes out very well (laughs) but if I record the song and then I write with some guys that can play and who have the ability to just kind of like mess around with it, then you have a great experience.

I understand you recently did a TV show in Germany; what was that about and how did it happen?
Right, so I’ve kind of been away and sort of doing my own thing. I’ve been writing for a lot of other people and the show in Germany, called Die Ultimative Chart Show, they just reached out and said, “Listen, you know, ‘Bad Day’ was a big song here in Germany, and we’d love you to come and play.” I was like, “Oh well, OK, I guess I could do that. You know, I’ve sort of done ‘Bad Day’ about a billion times, I might as well do it a billion and one more times.” And then they actually, I really have to hand it to them, they really…we just emailed them the song and they listen to it and said, “Would you be interested in playing this song on the show as well?” and I said, “ABSOLUTELY!” So I really do have to hand it to them; they were the ones that really broke it and just kind of like said, “We wanna do both.” Now I’m really…yes, now I’m excited. So I played a really edited version of it.

That’s awesome! So obviously a new single often signals a new album; is there one in the pipeline? If so, when can we expect it? Or is it just a single?
I think I’ve written so many songs in the last few years, that I haven’t thought about putting an album out but maybe? You know, I definitely put a lot of work into trying different things and doing some exploration, so maybe…I always feel like it’s really up to the people. If they want me to come back with some more music, then I’m only happy to do it, I just haven’t really thought about it.

I definitely put a lot of songs together but whether or not…I don’t know if they’re any good. (Laughs) To be honest with you, I always tell people that most of the songs I write are awful! So, we’ll see…(Laughs).

You’ve said that you were writing for other people, is there anyone that you’ve really enjoyed writing for?
No. No, I actually didn’t enjoy any of it. I just found it to be incredibly difficult identify with what a lot of the artists want, which is whatever’s on the radio. I always find that to be incredibly discouraging. I always sort of say to them, “Well why do you want to write something that’s on like that because by the time we get there, that’s not going to be there any more.”

So, I struggled with that. Did a lot of sessions for other people, but I really found, I’m not very good at it. I’m not capable of writing pop music the way that a lot of people hear pop music. I like to write songs that have a verse and a bridge and a chorus and I grew up listening to Elton John, Billy Joel and Bowie and all these people, and the way they built pop and they wrote and that’s so inside of me and ingrained in me that I can’t write a song that just starts at one place and doesn’t change, other than the kick drum. I try! It’s so odd.

A lot of times people that were in the session, you know, ended up writing the song after I left for lunch. “Let’s wait for Daniel to leave.” (Laughs).

(Laughs) Where do you often end up taking the inspiration for your songs from?
You know, I think most of the stuff that I write is really about the people that I meet; it’s just the relationship and what makes you tick.

Most of what I write isn’t autobiographical. I find that there’s so much inspiration in other people. I know that sounds kind of cheesy but it’s true. There’s always a story in everybody I meet and sometimes they really pop out and I get a song from that.

I don’t get a lot material from my own feelings, you know, “How I’m doing.” But really sometimes someone will sit down with me and just share something with me, you know a stranger or a fan or something and I really draw from that.

I really like that; that’s cool.
Yeah! I think writing songs from your own perspective can be a little bit boring, you know. I find that the more people I meet, and the more people that really inspire me are just everyday, regular people.

It’s funny, the most uninspiring people I’ve met are famous people. (Laughs) It could be just a girl at a coffee shop, it could be plumber working on your toilet; there’s stories in those people, if people just give them the space and time to let you know about them.

I like that, that’s really cool.
You know, there’s something there.

Lastly, I’ve often wondered, if you could collaborate with anyone (having just said that obviously celebrities can be quite boring – laughs), who would it be?
(Laughs) Obviously, most of the people that I’m still really fond of have all passed away. You know, it was interesting, I was listening to SiriusXM the other day, and they had Billy Joel on. I just thought to myself, “If I could just write one song that was just, maybe 20% as good as that, I would retire.” You know, ‘She’s Always A Woman’, all these songs one after the other…I don’t even think I could collaborate with him because he’s just so phenomenal but he’s probably right now, the person I’m listening to the most. Old school!

Sure, well thank you so, so much! Honestly, it’s been a real pleasure talking to you and good luck with the single.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you calling and I hope I get to meet you when you come to the UK.

I’d love that – are there any plans to tour here or anything?
I don’t know right now. I’ll have to see if something comes about. I just finished a show in Jakarta and I think I’m going to go back there. And over to South East Asia sometime in Spring and do a lot more shows. And then, we’ll see. Let’s just see what happens.

Thanks very much again.
It was lovely talking to you.


A massive thanks go to Daniel for taking the time to talk to me on the phone and to Nancy, his manager, for arranging the interview. It was an honour to speak to him and I wish him the best of luck with his new single, Delicious, and upcoming shows…fingers crossed for a UK tour!


Daniel Powter‘s releases are all available:


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other interviews here:

Muzik Speaks Interviews