Starsailor + The Parlotones @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall – April 1st 2009


There are many mysteries in life, and one remains why Starsailor are still playing small venues like the Wulfrun. This especially true when bands such as Keane play much larger venues. Oh well, the Wulfrun it is, and oddly for a crowd comprising mainly middle-aged couples the security seems especially tight. All punters are searched and for the first time in my life I was asked to remove my car keys from my pocket which was then closely inspected by said security man.

Once past this over-zealous employee, I was just in time for the first of three support acts.

First up is Ryan Lauder, a likeable lad from Dumphries, playing an “IKEA special” acoustic guitar accompanied by a chap playing a slide guitar. Four songs and he’s done, pleasant and would like to hear more but sadly he’s not bought copies of his ep with him to sell!

Next up is Pete Greenwood, announcing himself as “Russell Brand” due to the Dylan hairstyle. He actually sounds more like Badly Drawn Boy, but again pleasant tunes.


Within five minutes The Parlotones take to the stage, hailing from South Africa. As the ‘main’ support they are an actual band as opposed to a solo acoustic slot of the previous two supports. The Parlotones create a good sound, heavy on drums, with a bass player doubling up on keyboards. CD’s are for sale at £5 so this is certainly worth further investigation and hopefully their first ever visit to Wolverhampton won’t be their last.


A quick stage-clearance and at 21.30 Starsailor take to the stage, to an intro tape that suddenly stops, causing a expletive from the sound guy whom I’m standing by, however it soon re-starts and then the band launch into ‘Tie up my hands’. The stage set is simple, a large backdrop of the current album’s sleeve, but the lighting could do with a re-think. For the whole of the first song the band are lit by orange lights. Perhaps this is some homage to the colour of the Wolves team-kit, but throughout the show the lights are nothing spectacular and there appears to be a bank of ceiling lights that aren’t used at all.


The setlist features a good selection of the new album ‘All the plans’ but the older tracks really create a reaction from the crowd, especially ‘Poor Misguided Fool’ and an almost show-stopping ‘Alcoholic’. However the best is kept for the encore, which starts with James Walsh doing an acoustic version of ‘Lullaby’ and then a cover of ‘You’ve got to hide your love away’, before being joined by the rest of the band to do ‘Four to the floor’ and ‘Good Souls’ featuring a few lines from ‘Tomorrow never knows’.

Pete Greenwood who did a fine job earlier as support now adds a hand on guitar as he has done for the past twelve months or so.


As James Walsh said “we usually play Birmingham or Leicester but the reception you’ve given us I think we ought to play Wolverhampton more” and I’d agree with that.

Hopefully the next time will see a bigger venue so that more folk can appreciate and hear what are fine tunes, good melodies and a band who really should be playing bigger venues.



Tie up my hands
In the crossfire
All the plans
Hurts too much
Poor misguided fool
Boy in waiting
Love is here
Stars and stripes
Neon sky
Keep us together
Silence is easy
Tell me it’s not over

You’ve got to hide your love away
Four to the floor
Good souls

Review – Glenn Raybone
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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