James Walsh at The Workmans Club | Review
It’s been almost three years since the undertakings of Starsailor took rest in favour of solo ventures. Frontman James Walsh pays a visit to the Workman’s in an effort to warm our hearts on a cold December evening.
It’s a curiously quiet night in Dublin merely days before Christmas; the intimate setting inside the Workmans mirrors the sense of quiet. In front of less than that of a football squad, Walsh, armed only with an acoustic guitars opens with with the Starsailor classic, Good Souls. An honest smile employs Walsh’s face throughout the rendition. Even with just the assistance of a little reverb, his voice omits great embodiment; it possesses great tone – something which compels the smiles of those in the audience. He then delights the audience with newbie The Better Part of Me.
Boy In Waiting from album, ‘All The Plans,’ rallies the foot tappers with its wonderful upbeat tempo and positive vocals, Walsh delivers it with great mood and clarity. Poor Misguided Fool keeps the Starsailor faithful happy before he plays the wonderfully melodic Start Again. It’s here that you fully appreciate the capacity of Walsh’s voice; its natural tremble leads a direct hit to the heart. The Chorley-born singer has sold over three million albums globally with that voice.
Having written Lifted From The Ground for Bressie’s Cycle Against Suicide charity album, Walsh now delivers it sublimely, drenching the room with waves of melody. Admitting there is no direction to the order of the songs, his performance has been relaxed. A few unwanted surprises were in store, as Walsh displaces songs by tying covers on the end. Tell Me It’s Not Over finishes as Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’, and Four To The Floor is crazily churned into his own rendition of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. The idea may be right, but the consistency seemed to curdle here. Later,capitulating to the season, he tries getting everyone in the festive mood with a sing-along to Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody.’
A slightly confused period to the show is soon eliminated with a performance of the hugely successful Alcoholic. James Walsh says goodbye with a slight plug about his PledgeMusic project ‘Turning Point,’ before closing the show with fan-favourite Shelter. A charming show from the musician, not without its faults but it’s nice to see a musician of such proficient background, chipping away for the love of music.