James Walsh: 'It sounds mad but Take That should Play Glasto'

The Starsailor frontman talks about his film career, solo work and Brucie

James Walsh: 'It sounds mad but Take That should Play Glasto'

Photographer: Shirlaine ForrestAnnabelle Loveday on 22 November 2009

Virtual Festivals: You played the Isle of Wight Festival as a solo act, is this a new direction?
James Walsh: “Yeah, definitely. I’m having a break from Starsailor and I’ve become involved with a film called ‘Powder’, which is coming out next year and hopefully another film, which I’ve got a meeting about today.”

VF:  So is this a new direction for you? Are you taking a break from music altogether?

JW: “I’m writing the music for these, I’m not going into acting or anything. But it is an area that interests me and it doesn’t do any harm to have a break from the band. We’ve had a good innings, as they say, and sometimes it is about knowing when to stop and let other people have a go and knowing when to come back as well.”

VF: And are you enjoying this new path?

JW: “Yeah I’m putting together a solo album as well. It’s very early days at the moment, but it is going very well. I’m did some writing with Suzanne Vega the other day.”

VF: And how was it?

JW: “It was really thrilling; she’s a bit of a legend. I think it’s a good relationship because she’s so amazing with words and, as an area, writing lyrics is not my favourite thing. I’m much better at melodies and chords and things – we’re a good match in that way - like a Bernie Taupin and an Elton John. Maybe we need a few more sessions to get up to that level but it’s a similar sort of dynamic.”

VF: With you’re energies focused and writing for films at the moment, have you got any festivals planned for next year?

JW: “Hopefully yeah. I want to just rock up and do a bit – I’ll definitely be at the Isle of Wight Festival again.”

VF: As we’re at the UK Festival Awards, I’ll ask a few more festival related questions. You were at the Isle of Wight Festival this year, how was it?

JW: “I loved it! I think I’ve been every year for the last five years and I’ve played five or six times as well. So I have a particular fondness for that festival.”

VF: Would you say it’s your favourite one?

JW: “That’s a tricky one. There are some great points to that one, but crowd-wise, T in the Park takes some beating. But as an overall experience the Isle of Wight Festival is a great one to go to – it’s got the fairground and it’s very family orientated. But for that buzz stepping on stage it’s got to be T in the Park.”

VF: Over the last year, what festival acts that you’ve seen stick in your mind?

JW: “[Bruce] Springsteen last year at Hyde Park. He showed a lot of the young ‘uns how it is done.”

VF: What is most memorable moment at a festival?

JW: “Probably Blur around the ‘Blur’ album in 1997. I remember that was an amazing gig when Graham was still in the band at one of the V [Festivals], when they still had one in Leeds – that’s possibly my favourite festival highlight. As was watching David Bowie at Glastonbury – they’re all coming back now. We played below [Paul] McCartney at Glastonbury as well. So I’ll say watching Blur as a punter and playing below McCartney at Glastonbury as a band.”

VF: Sticking with Glastonbury, it’s their 40th anniversary in 2010, who would be the three headliners you’d like to see play?

JW: “Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen – we’ll have Bruce back and someone quirky. It might sound mad but I’ll say Take That.”

VF: Would you have Robbie Williams playing with them?
JW: “It would be interesting to see Robbie and a few of his songs as well, to be re-worked to fit the whole band. The Robbie and Take That reunion package would be a big draw.”


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